Taken from The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero ©2008
Week 6 / Day 1 - Midday/Evening Office
Scripture Reading: Genesis 2:9b, 15–17
In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
At the heart of the Daily Office and Sabbath disciplines is stopping to surrender to God in trust. Lack of trust is the very essence of the sin in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve legitimately worked and enjoyed their achievements in the Garden. However, they were called to embrace their limits and not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were not meant to see and know that which belongs to Almighty God.
As theologian Robert Barron has argued, the heart of the original sin is the refusal to accept God’s rhythm for us. The essence of being created in God’s image is our ability, like God, to stop. We imitate God by stopping our work and resting. If we can stop for one day a week, or for a mini Sabbath each day (a Daily Office), we touch something deep within us as image-bearers of God. Our brains, bodies, spirits, and emotions are all wired by God for the rhythm of working and resting in him.Stopping for a Daily Office or the Sabbath is not meant to add another obligation to our already busy schedules. It is an entirely new way of being in the world, resetting all of our days toward a new destination—God.
Question to Consider
How do you hear the invitation to “stop and surrender to God in trust” today?
Lord, help me to grab hold of you today. I need you. Set me free to begin reorienting my life around you, and you alone. Help me to pay attention to and honor how you have uniquely made me. Thank you for the gift of rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.