In her book, The Noah Paradox: Time as Burden, Time as Blessing, Carol Ochs parses the creation story in an elegant brilliant exposition. Of course the last day of Creation is not the sixth but the seventh day. She writes, “Rest plays a vital role in creation. It links the themes of restricting the act of creation, of creating space for reflection, and off marking time as sacred. … In other words, the creation of rest allows the creatures made in God’s image to experience God’s presence.”

In the 21st Century we are so busy that we can’t hear ourselves think much less hear the “voice of sheer silence” the whisper of God. There is little rest in this culture, much busyness some idleness, but not rest for the harried. [insert commercial — above is a link to centering prayer — check it out. We have several centering prayer groups at Saint John’s and will offer introductory workshops soon — check the parish website at — end commercial]

Wendell Berry in the poem below catches the sabbath rhythm of hard work and surrender to grace that creates a sabbath mood which finds our work good and sufficient in that Holy moment as we meet God.

NOTE: Of course Christians have shifted their day of worship from the Sabbath to the first day of the week, the day of resurrection, becoming liturgically the “eighth” day of creation.


The heaven and the earth were finished, and all their array. On the seventh day God finished the work which God had been doing, and God ceased on the seventh day form all the work which God had done. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy;, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation which God had done.

Genesis 2:1-3


Whatever is foreseen in joy

Must be lived out from day to day.

Vision held open in the dark

By our ten thousand days of work.

Harvest will fill the barn; for that

The hand must ache, the face must sweat.

And yet no leaf or grain is filled

By work of ours; the field is tilled

And left to grace. That we may reap,

Great work is done while we’re asleep.

When we work well, a Sabbath mood

Rests on our day, and finds it good.

Wendell Berry

A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997