by Jenna Olson Popp
Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in plowing time and in harvest time you shall rest. – Exodus 34:21
An iconic Nebraska view in the fall is a farmer in his or her combine harvesting the field late at night. This often reminds me how hard farmers work on behalf of their land and the food they’re helping to grow. I can imagine this command to rest is hard for most farmers during busy harvest seasons. When the crops are dry and the conditions are good, you go harvest, no matter the day or the hour.
This passage in Exodus contradicts that action. This day of rest reminds us that this is not my land, this is not the farmer’s land, but this is the Lord’s land. And it is in those times when we believe we are in complete control of the land that we need to step back and see what God is making new, recognizing the redemption of God’s own creation though no power of our own.
Creator God, you are the Lord of the land. Give us faith as you redeem your land, even when we rest. Amen.