It’s Labor Day weekend. You know what that means?
It’s time for a break.
A long weekend.
A release from the grind.
A chance to relax.
All kinds of people will get a special break. Postal workers. Governors. Judges. Garbage men. Librarians. Teachers. Dentists. Doctors. Almost everyone..!?!
Not the Walmart worker. Not the McDonald’s cashier. Neither the hotel staff that keeps things clean while we all take a break nor the gas station attendant who keeps the pumps running so we can make it to work on Tuesday. Even an unlucky few police officers are working.
But at least they get breaks at the end of the day. No one can work endlessly. That'd be impossible. eventually our bodies shut down. We need rest. no one can go without rest!
Except for maybe one. Always on the job. 24/7. 365 days a year. Never sleeps. Never rests. Never has Labor Day Off.
Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
What’s he doing? Providing you with food. Holding the sun in its gravitational spot so you don’t melt. Taking care of sparrows, dragonflies, and polliwogs.
But it’s deeper than that.
God is working on you.
He’s calling to you with his Word. “Repent! Stop sinning! Stop doing the awful work of offending me and look at the work that my Son has accomplished!"
Consider Jesus' job description: "Go to earth. Always defeat temptation. Suffer immensely. Do the work no one else could. Die and finish the work that everyone else should. Finish my plan of salvation for all people.
Your tools? A few nails. Some rugged boards. A work hat made of thorns.
Oh yes, and while you're doing this for everyone's eternal salvation, understand that most will not give a hoot about that most of their lives. In fact, they'll hate you. Despise you. Do all kinds of things that go against workplace ethics."
Sounds like a terrible job.
But Jesus did it. He did it so that you may have rest. Rest from the impossible labor of trying to please me. Rest from the burden of old sins rehashed. Rest from the fear of an eternity of punishment. Rest in knowing that you will one day rest from the sweats, aches, and pains of this world of work…in heaven.
Don’t forget to thank those working this Labor Day. Don't forget to thank the one who is working endlessly for you. Take a break from everything else, but not worshipping him. Find a church nearby your resort. Read through the Gospel of Mark and see all the work Jesus accomplished for us. Thank God in your prayers and teach your children to do the same thing.
God’s blessings as your rest on Labor Day Weekend. May the God who never rests watch over you! Amen.
This is Gabby. Gabby is my parent's 8 week old Golden Retriever. Gabby likes to eat, play and mostly...rest.
She rests in the morning. She rests mid-morning. She rests before and after lunch. She rests in the early afternoon, the mid afternoon, and the late afternoon. She rests at supper and at night.
She rests, because she's tired a lot.
Knowing that puppies get tired, my parents bought a really fancy bed for Gabby so that she could get good rest. It's warm. Cozy. Plush. Perfect for a puppy.
Check out this picture. There she is, literally, inches away from the comfort of her own bed, instead opting for the uncomfortable coldness of linoleum.
But I can't help but think that we do the same thing.
For instance, we run from school, to the YMCA, to Taekwondo practice just to keep our kids entertained. We work late into the night to finish deadlines that our iPhones remind us about. Our minds are swirling with deadlines, tasks, and to dos that the mental anguish wipes us out!
In other words, we're tired as a puppy!
Knowing we'd be tired in this life, Jesus himself says, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest!" (Mt. 11:28)
We look over at the devotional book by our mantle and pass out half way through thinking about opening the cover.
Paul reminds us that "Our comfort abounds through Christ." (2 Cor. 1:5)
We think comfort comes from a glass of scotch and a marathon of House reruns on Hulu late into the night.
Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon you and you will find rest for your souls." (Mt. 11:29)
We take upon ourselves more and more earthly tasks in hopes that the feeling of accomplishment will give us rest.
So, we're kinda like Gabby the puppy. Our comfort of perfect rest in Jesus is right there, but we stop short. Instead, we choose the cold, hard, un-restful comforts of this world!
Because true rest is only found in Jesus. Only in Jesus can anyone rest from mental anguish of their past sins. Only in Jesus can anyone find the comfort that God loves you even if you don't complete all the tasks on your to do list. Only in Jesus can anyone find the gentle peace of his continual love in the midst of the hurried and frantic events of tomorrow.
True rest is only found in Jesus.
So, even though it can be hard, make it to your spiritual bed. Read that late night devotion. Stop work for that midday prayer. Go to that evening Bible study. Get up for church on a Sunday morning.
Don't miss out on this comfort. Make it to your divine bed. Find some spiritual peace.
Rest. Now. Always. Forever. In the bed of Jesus' forgiving love.
PRAYER: Dear LORD of all rest, I must admit that I do not always turn to you for rest. In fact, I don't turn to you much at all. Forgive me Lord. Forgive me for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, who is our rest. Give me rest in knowing about your forgiveness. Give me strength to turn to you day after day for rest and comfort. In Jesus' name, Amen.