Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rest In Jesus

Chuckle:  A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
Quote:  "No soul can have rest until it finds created things are empty. When the soul gives up all for love, so that it can have Him that is all, then it finds true rest." --Julian of Norwich
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11-28-30 NIV).
"The Message" translates these verses this way. "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly" (vs. 28-30 MSG). I suppose I like this translation because it best describes my own personal interpretation of what Jesus was actually saying to His disciples and to us.
A yoke is a heavy wooden harness made to fit over the shoulders of oxen, which is attached to a plow or some other piece of tilling equipment for the oxen to pull. Jesus used this analogy to help us understand that He never intends to burden us down or wear us out in service for His kingdom. Regardless of what He asks us to do, He promises to give us rest and peace in Him and to restore our strength.
The rest that Jesus promises does not imply the absence of hard work, but spiritual rest and renewal by His love, healing, and peace. The concept reminds me of the question: "what's the difference between work and play?" We may exert even more energy at play than at our work, but the difference rests in our attitude toward what we are doing.
If we enjoy what we are doing, we are refreshed and exhilarated by it. Regardless of the amount of effort required or energy expended, we call it "play." Our relationship and fellowship with Jesus transforms meaningless and burdensome labor into joyous and refreshing spiritual purpose and productivity.
"You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you." --St Augustine of Hippo
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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