The Promise of Rest

pillow

-----

“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

-----

Someone asked me how I was doing yesterday, and my response was “Tired.”

No matter the season, we lay our heads down onto pillows every night. Our bodies always need rest. Yet, it seems at this time of year, we fall to our beds in utter exhaustion.

The weather (at least in this part of the world) does not help, since the sun is not out for long enough to give us a boost, and even if it were, it would be too cold to stand outside and experience it for long. But it’s not just the weather; it’s the way things pile up on top of us.

Most things aren’t bad in and of themselves, it’s the weight of all of them stacked together that becomes tiring to carry. The social gatherings, the shopping, the family obligations, the school concerts, the traditions, the decorating, the baking…. It is all just so much.

Sometimes, many times, I make it worse on myself by trying to be good at everything, and not let anything drop, and not let anyone down by getting a less-than-thoughtful gift, and not forgetting to do things to keep the meaning of the season in the midst of it all. (Like daily blogging for Advent? Who would do something like that? Every year, I love it and hate it all at the same time.)

Rest. I need rest. And not just sleep. I need the rest that comes from letting go. Holding things more loosely. Remembering that my worth is not dependent on pleasing people or getting everything done.

Later in His life, Christ confirmed through His words what His sleeping infant form implied: that He brings us rest for our souls.

-----

Pie Jesu – Future of Forestry

This song makes it into Christmas rotations on occasion, and after reading the English translation, I think I will make it a more regular one on my list. Here’s what it says,

"Merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus Father, who takes away the sins of the world Grant them rest, grant them rest Merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus, merciful Jesus Father, who takes away the sins of the world Grant them rest, grant them rest Lamb of God, Lamb of God, Lamb of God, Lamb of God Father, who takes away the sins of the world Grant them rest, grant them rest everlasting everlasting Rest”


NoticingImmanuel

Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.