Messiah Lutheran Church Sunday Service: 8:30AM
R.E.S.T.: Renewal, Equipping, Sustaining, Trusting
During the summer, many of us have scheduled vacations, trips, and excursions for our renewal. This month, I would like us to consider the value of adequate rest. In order for us to be at our best for the mission of God in the world, we need heed the Bible’s advice, and rest.
The story of the Hebrew race reminds us of the perils of overworking. The slaves were forced to do hard labor with little to no rest, sunup to sundown, seven days a week. The Ten Commandments remind us that God is keenly interested in our being filled with rest and renewal. “Six days shall you labor, but the seventh is a Sabbath unto the Lord”. We were not only commanded to maintain one 24 hour period of rest—God lead by example, and after six days of Creation, he rested on the seventh. That is renewal.
In the Law, the Israelites were also commanded to observe other restful laws – letting the land lie fallow every seventh year was one such practice. Those laws were often forgotten, but it is no accident that the land did lie fallow for the seventy years of the Babylonian Captivity. God’s word is, after all, going to accomplish what he sent it to do (Isaiah 55:11) That is equipping.
What about our rest? Are we approaching life from a place of restfulness or restlessness? A friend of mind always reminds me: if you don’t take a day off just because Satan doesn’t, you might want to look for a better role model. In truth, all of our holiest actions need to be addressed from a place of rest. We cannot pour from an empty cup. That is sustaining.
I will be taking the month of July as my annual rest. I intend to infuse my rest with study and renewal, growing things and restoring my home. God does his resurrection work in the world through us, and we do well to be rested for such a holy work. We know that if we follow God’s plan for rest and work, he will accomplish in us what is needed to get the best out of us. That is trusting God.
Beloved, may you find rest this summer. Enjoy the grass on your bare feet, the sun on your face, and the love of your friends and your family.