Pastor's Note - February 2
In the last few sermons, I’ve given some “homework assignments” for the church. Based on the text, I’ve encouraged us to enjoy creation, and enjoy creating. I didn’t do it last Sunday, but if I did give a homework assignment, it would have been “enjoy rest.” I may even take it a step further, and encourage you to assess your schedule to see if you have patterns of work and rest. Do you have regular rhythms of rest in your life, to cease from work, and enjoy God and the people and gifts He has given to you? Do you have rhythms of worship in your week? I would even encourage many of you to assess whether you are doing too much. Are you involved in too many ministries? Are you involved in too many work or community projects? Do you need to scale back somewhere? These are actually difficult questions, as they often force us to admit that we are not superhuman, but in fact have very real and humbling limitations. If we admit we have too much on our plate, we also admit we are not God. It can also be difficult to let things go, because you feel pressure from others to produce. You may feel like you let someone down. But if your physical and spiritual health, and the necessity of rest, demands decreasing work – yet you are afraid to do so out of fear of letting others down – it may reveal issues of pride and fear of others in your heart and mind. It may be that you too greatly esteem the praise of others, and are afraid to disappoint people because of it. I communicate all this not to lay any burden, but simply to invite you to assess your own life of work, worship, and rest. Of course, we are called to work and produce (just as Adam was in the garden). And, we do not work or rest in order to earn God’s favor. Jesus has done that for us in His work and rest, and we have our ultimate rest in Him. That’s where true rest is found. And we live a life of peace and rest in Jesus Christ seven days a week, not just one. So, it is on the basis of the true rest we have in Christ that I encourage you to find rhythms of rest in life, and maybe even intentionally lessen your workload. Not to earn rest with God, but because He’s already given it as a gift in Christ, and He is meant to be enjoyed.