Tuesday, January 12, 2016

For Meditation: "to live a perpetual Sabbath"

"For me personally, talking about God's work and God's rest and about humanity being made in God's image raises another question.  My wife, Ann, has multiple sclerosis.  She was able to have children, and we brought them up, and she worked as a psychiatrist, but eventually had to abandon her work.  She now cannot move at all, hardly even to raise an eyebrow.  She cannot do anything for herself or speak.  Is she still a person in the image of God?  Living with Genesis 1 and with Ann's increasing disability leaves me with several reflections.  Because handicapped people are indeed human beings made in God's image, the rest of the world owes it to them to seek to make it feasible for them to have as much control over their lives as possible.  We should help them master as much of the world as possible rather than take over and run their lives for them.  But a kind of converse is that handicapped people remind the rest of us that being unable to work or even to do much of anything turns out not to mean you stop being human. Ann is obliged to live a perpetual Sabbath.  It is not merely work that defines the person."
John Goldingay, Genesis for Everyone, Part One, 25-26.

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