On Sunday, September 3, 2017, Pastor Ed Allen talked with us about Rest, using the passage in Luke 6:1-11.
The Pharisees were the sort of people who geeked out about exactly how to get their behavior right.
This encounter is different than some of Jesus' other encounters with the Pharisees. He does not say that the Sabbath isn't important.
Suburban Americans desperately need to have this conversation, because we have a dysfunctional relationship with rest.
Why do we need rest?
Work is very important; we are made for work. We should work hard and with diligence. It's God-honoring to be a top flight worker.
However, for almost all of us, work tends to dominate our lives in a way that is not God-honoring.
Welcome to the suburbs! Our jobs are insecure. We have to work crazy hours. Because of technology, we can work everywhere. We get our meaning from our work.
Ours is the first culture in history where you decide what you want to do and then your meaning rides on if you attain success. The result is a dysfunctional relationship with work.
Workaholism is bad for relationships, health, and even work productivity. But workaholics are driven to do so. It feeds off our fears.
We are probably more in need of rest than any culture in the world. The soul needs REM sleep.
Where do we find rest?
Jesus declares himself to be Lord of the Sabbath.
He's claiming to be God (which is why they want to kill him). He's also claiming to be the source of rest.
A part of rest is that God was very satisfied with what He'd done. He had nothing else to prove.
That's a problem for us. How are we ever satisfied?
We need to tap into a source of rest that's real and reliable. Rest begins with a connection with Jesus. Our relationship with Him puts our hearts at rest.
How do we get rest?
We need to nurture our relationship with Jesus.
The Sabbath is for our benefit. ("The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.") Think about what God has for you rather than what God wants from you. He is the source of rest.
The Sabbath isn't just a day off. The point is to be benefited, to look to Jesus, and to do good.
Challenge: Make it a goal to take a Sabbath every week.
Spend some of that time contemplatively.
Spend some of that time avocationally. Have fun!
Rely exclusively on your Maker.
We do need rest - more than any people in history. It doesn't come easy. But it's worth it!