|A week ago today, we celebrated Labor Day. The origins of this day go back to the 1800’s when at the height of the Industrial Revolution many Americans worked 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week just to get by. As labor unions began to organize and become more vocal, in 1894 President Cleveland made several adjustments but one of them was signing into law a new federal holiday, the day we call Labor Day.
Resting from physical labor is important. Working at a frenetic pace, especially in untenable conditions as was the case in many factories during the 1800’s, is not sustainable and can do a lot of damage to our bodies. But resting from spiritual labor is even more important. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said these words…
“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.”
According to Jesus, there is a weariness of the soul that we experience in this life and the answer isn’t better working conditions or more days off. The answer is REST, and He is the source. Now, how can that be? How can Jesus be the source of rest?
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus completed the work of forgiving and reconciling us to God which is why He said, “It is finished.” And now, when we come to Jesus we can rest, trusting in Him and what He has made possible for us. The real rest we long for, the REM sleep of the soul, is only found in God by trusting His provision through Jesus.
This posture of trust is meant to characterize the whole of the Christian life. Christianity isn’t mainly about rules; it’s primarily about active rest in the Person and work of Christ! By God’s grace, may that characterize us today.
P.S. I hope you’ll join us this coming Sunday as we conclude our teaching series, “Come Together.” If you missed this past Sunday’s message or any of the messages during this series, check them out here.