Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rest

Scripture:  Hebrews 2-4

Hebrews seems to be very "sermonic" to me.  Like the unknown author was writing a sermon.  The author seems to be clear that he doesn't want Christians to leave the faith and become Jews again.  He also puts Christ at the center of all his theology.  For more information see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Hebrews

Observation:  Its probably no suprise to anyone, that the discussion of rest and sabbath rest and final rest was fascinating to me.  (See the end of 3 and the beginning of 4.)

I underlined it when I first read it, but when I came back just now to write on it, I got completely confused and dumbfounded.  So, for the first time in SoS I went to commentaries to try and better understand.  And now I'm even more confused.

But here is what intrigues me.  The author of Hebrews is making a connection to eternal rest and sabbath rest.  As if rest is something special.  Something we can do as Christians that others may not understand.  That rest here and rest in heaven are some how related.

Application:
I am terrible at slowing down.  I like to be on the move and be busy.  In high school I did every activity I could and played softball hours a day.  I'd come home and do hours more homework than necessary and read a complete book.  In college I worked and played softball and was in a sorority and took 19+ hours.  In seminary, I worked a 30+ hour a week corporate job, a 20+ hour a week ministry job and full time school.  I like to be busy!  So, this idea of sabbath rest has always been hard for me.  I feel like I'm loafing.  Not doing what I am supposed to.

But verses like this remind me that Mary was right to sit at Jesus' feet.  They remind me that I have to slow down--that this was a commandment, something God needed and wanted from me.  That I am called to rest and focus on God.  How good are you at taking Sabbath?  At resting?  Do you see it as a blessing and honor from God?  Or just as something you have to do if you can fit it in.  Maybe take an extra 30 minutes today to rest.  To take Sabbath, to relax in God's infinite love and grace and mercy.  I bet it will do us ALL some good!





Prayer:  God of Rest--In You, we find peace.  In you we find comfort.  Let us find rest and peace and comfort in you today.  In Jesus' name we pray!  Amen.

Blessings--
Pastor Emily

3 comments:

Lindsay said...

Rest is hard for me too. Some days, it's hard for me to sit down and do this Bible reading. I think of my to-do list and get antsy. But taking the moment to rest in God is always rewarding.

A piece that jumped out at me today was ... encourage one another daily!! I am not great at this, but it is so awesome when another Christian encourages me. My best friend has recently become "re-active" in her faith, and it has allowed us to bring discussion of faith into our friendship. It has already been a blessing to be able to encourage each other in our faith. This is something I pray I can find more opportunity for!

God, remind me when I can offer an encouraging word to another Christian!

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

That's one of the best thing about writing my daily devotionals - encouragement. In reading the scripture and in writing, I find that I am encouraged in my faith but, most importantly, I am hearing from my readers that my words encourage them in their walk with the Lord. There is the true blessing!

Mary said...

Emily, we take our rest (and encouragement) when and where we can find it. In the smile of a child, the touch of a friend, a kind word from a stranger, the sky at dawn, etc. We just have to watch for the opportunities and sometimes be sure to plan for it.
I liked 4:12 The Word of God is living and active (in our lives). . . it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Maybe these resting verses are trying to improve our attitude about all the "important" things we think we need to fill our lives with.