A Message From The Pastor!
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Did you catch that? Our Lord just used a four letter word! “Rest.” Rest is a four letter word. It truly is. Count them, four letters. But sadly, many see it as a four letter word in a foul sense. Indeed our culture puts negativity in the idea of rest- working hard at play time, cramming in as much as possible in the little time they feel is given .
It is interesting to note that when Jesus’ disciples had been working hard, getting swamped while preaching about the Kingdom of God, healing the sick and casting out demons, that Jesus did not break out the charts placed on the fridge or on our desktops. He didn’t suggest that they start to multitask. He didn’t chew them out to get more done with the limited time they had. He called them together to go with Him, to gather in a quiet place to get some rest. Perhaps even to pray.
And it is interesting that often when Jesus faced difficult situations, or had been in battle with demonic forces, He would take time to get away for rest and prayer. Particularly after dealing with the foul and evil forces of darkness, He found balance by spending time in the cleansing, pure presence of His Father.
When God finished His creative work, He rested from it and blessed that day of rest, and even commanded His children to observe the sabbath – to take time and be rested and refreshed in Him for His good work.
Do you see the pattern? And pattern is a key word there, for our Lord has designed us with a flow and pattern to our life – a time for work, and a time for rest. And by rest, I mean not only physical rest (which includes getting plenty of peaceful sleep, trusting in the gracious care of our Heavenly Father) but I am speaking on being renewed and truly rested by being in the Presence of our Lord, the very thing we were created for! That would be our relationship, brothers and sisters.
You see, the devil wants to burden and weigh us down with guilt, and to separate us from one another. He wants us to feel alone, cut off from others and especially from God. What better place to be refreshed from such attacks than by being where God has promised to come and restore you. Where God has promised to truly come and feed you; where He assures you of your forgiveness in Absolution- that in relationship with Him, He has truly removed your sinful guilt from you as far as the east is from the west, and that there is no condemnation for those in Christ, that the devil can no longer accuse you! Where you hear the Word of God proclaimed- the very thing you are meant to be filled with. God Himself came to us as His precious child, and serves us with His Grace, refreshing and restoring us so that we can share His love. That is care and light to a world in darkness.
Are you tired and fatigued from the stresses of this world? Are you frustrated or dismayed? Are you burdened and heavy laden? Then come to where your Lord has promised you He is, and He will give you rest! Come worship and be present amongst us. Invite others to be refreshed each week beside you.
That is our mission at Emmanuel. We are called to spread the Word and develop disciples. Do you see yourself being a part of this? Do you find yourself RESTING up for this fall?
More is coming in a few months, and we are inviting others to share in these blessings. Can you help? Can you have REST with us all? Pray to become a part of a new movement, a movement forward in our journey of faith, lets REST on that please.
I look forward to seeing you all in worship!