Devotion – Rest For the Holidays

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Psalm 122:1
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 

Stress

Harry: Boy, the holidays are rough. Every year I just try to get from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year’s.

Sally: A lot of suicides.

            When Harry Met Sally, 1989

Why is the end of November and all of December stressful?

Here’s why it can be for me, and let me know if you have a similar calendar:

·        Thanksgiving Eve and Day worship services.

·        The Family Thanksgiving Meal.

·        Christmas decorating.

·        The Ladies’ Aid Christmas Dinner.

·        Three midweek Advent worship services and dinners.

·        The Women’s Guild Christmas dinner.

·        Family get-together in Chicago.

·        Christmas Eve worship services (four of them).

·        Christmas Day worship service.

·        New Year’s Eve worship service.

·        Shopping for gifts for the family.

·        And all the normal, everyday, tasks, errands, and work-related events.

Yes, the holidays can be rough.

What I really want is rest.

Rest

When I wore a younger man’s clothes, I felt that the ultimate rest was being able to sleep-in in the morning. That is, not having to get up early and go to work.

Today rest, for me, takes the form of still getting up before dawn, but not having to rush off to the office or a visit or to lead a worship service. I rest by not having to be somewhere.

There are not too many days in December that this is the case for me. How about you?

I work in the Church. So, when I read what King David wrote about going to church…

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Psalm 122:1

… I just want to shake my head in wonder. Rest? In Church?!?

In Church?

Strange as it may sound, yes! You can find rest in church! In fact, one of the names for where we worship is based on the word rest.

We often call where we worship the “sanctuary.” A place where you can find refuge. A place where you can be safe.

Yes, a place where you can rest.

Why is this what we call a church? Because this is who God is. God is our place of rest. He is where we can be ultimately safe and secure.

And God is best found where His word is taught in its truth and purity and the sacraments are administered according to Christ’s institution – namely, the church!

In Jesus

But our rest isn’t really in a building, is it? It is actually in Jesus Himself.

Jesus gives us this promise:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

Jesus came to give us rest. He did this by restoring us to God the Father. Jesus lived perfectly for us and on our behalf. He gives us His righteousness in exchange for our sins. He died so that we could truly live.

Yes, our rest is found in Jesus!

Rest This Week

Are you feeling the stress of the holidays descend on you like a cold and wet blanket? I invite you to turn to Jesus for rest.

Join me and other Christians in church – either this Wednesday or this weekend. Find the rest you are looking for in Jesus!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I’m feeling the stress close in on me. I need rest. Give me Jesus! Hold me in Your arms. Provide for me the rest for my body and my soul that only You can give. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2019 True Men Ministries

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