Still At Work

lonesome-pine-888In the study on the Gospel of John I’m leading at church we recently spent some time examining a miracle where Jesus healed a man who had been lame thirty-eight years.   After Jesus did this he got into trouble with the local religious leaders because he healed the man on the Sabbath.  By this time in Jewish history there were all kinds of restrictions on what a person could and could not do on the Sabbath.  Because of its place in the Ten Commandments the Sabbath was considered very special by the Jews and they sought to protect it by coming up with various restrictions about Sabbath observance.

Jesus’ response to the religious leaders who were denouncing him is interesting.  He told them “My Father is always at work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”  (John 5:17)  Jesus’ words about his Father always being at work are important.  One reason the Sabbath was considered so important to the Jews is that God “rested” on the seventh day of Creation.  Although some thought God was still resting, many of the Jewish rabbis believed that God was still at work and that He even did some of His work on the Sabbath.  Acts of healing and compassion were examples of God’s Sabbath Day activity.  Jesus affirmed this understanding and said that the miracle he had just performed was simply an extension of His Father’s work. 

Norris-Geyser-Basin-444I think one of the important lessons we can take from this passage is that the God of Creation is still very much at work in the world today and that Christ, His Son, is as well.  We are reminded here that Creation is not a finished product;  it is a work in progress.  John Muir recognized this.  He once wrote: “I used to envy the father of our race, dwelling as he did in contact with the new-made fields and plants of Eden; but I do so no more, because I have discovered that I also live in ‘creation’s dawn.’  The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.”  

Perhaps our sense of wonder and amazement might be renewed if we realized each day that we are witnesses to God’s ongoing work of Creation.  Perhaps it would awaken our sense of gratitude for the gift of each new day.  Perhaps it would make us better aware of our calling to be partners with the Father and Son in caring for the earth.  It’s certainly something to think about…


(I took the two images above in Yellowstone National Park last February.)