A Christian Perspective on Leisure — Part 4

A Christian Perspective on Leisure — Part 4 May 28, 2012

And so it begins. Memorial Day seems to mark the startof Colorado’sseason for extended leisure and recreation. Indeed, summertime in our statebeckons with countless opportunities for camping, boating, hiking, traveling,sightseeing, and all other sorts of recreation. Poised on this brink as we are,I’ve been writing about the Christian view of leisure for the last few weeks,using the creation story in Genesis 1-3 as our guide.

We don’t have to read too far in Genesis to find outthat God’s good creation was badly broken when sin entered the world. And soleisure, like everything else, must be redeemed from the Fall. We see theeffects of sin in the realm of leisure in all sorts of ways. People idolizeleisure. They use it as an opportunity to sin. Or they sin by neglecting it.

But the gospel redeems leisure and restores it to God’sintended purposes. Instead of worshiping leisure as our god, the gospel freesus from false idols and opens our eyes to the all-surpassing satisfaction to befound in Jesus alone. In the redeemed life, leisure is not god; rather, it is agift from God which aids us in knowing and worshiping Him.

There is a second way the gospel redeems our leisure.Deliberately taking time for rest reminds us of the eternal rest of God’speople—our home in heaven—and helps us live for eternity rather than what wecan acquire in time. When we enjoy what is done rather than frantically keepdoing, we send a powerful message to our own soul that our life is not definedby all that we acquire and accomplish here on this earth. Our home is heaven,and our goal is eternal joy in God, not temporary joy in acquisition andaccomplishment.

Finally, taking time for leisure is a visiblerepresentation of the gospel, where our work is all finished and we enjoyeternal rest in Christ (cf. Dt 5:15, Col 2:16-17). The gospel tells us “It isfinished.” Jesus has done what we should have but never could. He is the GreatWorker. When we take His perfect life and death as our portion before God, Godapplauds us all apart from our hard-won performance and work. The gospel tellsus we can relax! The work is done! Leisure time reminds us our hope is in theLord, not in the fruitfulness of our labors.