This week we are going to explore one verse from Matthew 11, where Jesus says:

 

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 [NASB]

 

Let’s work backwards through the verse. What does rest mean to you? Think back to last Sunday, the Sabbath day of rest. How restful was it for you? Were you feeling fully charged up and raring to go on the Monday morning? Perhaps not!

 

Sometimes we have the intention of rest on a Sunday - but the reality is rather different. Sunday has become a normal shopping day for many, even if the major stores are not open for 24 hours on a Sunday, it is always possible to order things online. We live in a world which is becoming more flexible and available with “convenience” trumping everything. Many of you may have to work on Sunday, as more and more jobs involve shift working and the luxury of being able to decline working on a Sunday is beyond us. How inconvenient that is.

God’s plan was that we should rest one day in seven to recover our strength, but also to worship him and to avoid the clamour of the world. Jesus frequently withdrew from the crowds to pray – he also wasn’t taken in by the legalistic rules the Pharisees had Chief Priests had added to those in the Bible. The Sabbath was made for mankind – not mankind for the Sabbath. So don’t feel guilty if you find yourself in the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon buying an emergency bottle of milk or loaf of bread.

 

However, there are times when we choose to fill our Sunday with things that are not conducive to rest – mowing the lawn, washing the car, ironing, writing Devotionals (see I too can be a hypocrite)! Wisdom allows us to plan better than that!

 

Lord, help me to have rest in your presence. Keep me from choosing to plan work to take place on Sunday. Help me to rest and recover my strength as I tap in to your power. Thank you for the teaching Jesus gave us about the Sabbath. Amen

 

Dave MacLellan
m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald

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