Welcome back to the very last week of 31 Days of Love in Red Letters!
I had planned to finish the passage from John 15, about bearing fruit, today, but things don’t always go the way I’ve planned.
I chatted my way through a blogger’s conference this weekend, and when I woke up Sunday morning, the Lord had a word for me: REST.
And I agreed. Wholeheartedly. My brain is stuffed. It feels a little like my head might explode. Before that happens, let’s hurry to Jesus’ words from Matthew 11:
Then Jesus said,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
Have you heard these verses a hundred times? Maybe they even hung on a plaque on your wall back when plaques were a thing? I don’t know. They did mine. The problem is, sometimes I’m reading the Word from a completely self-centered perspective. What’s in it for me?
So this passage has been about rest. Jesus gives rest, and Jesus wants me to rest. But that’s not really the big idea. He wants us to simply come. To Him. He wants us to take His plans, His life, His direction as our own, and to let Him teach us.
He’s not just saying “Take good care of yourself. Have some Me Time.” He’s not telling us to sleep in more or sit down a while and put our feet up. I’ll be honest, that sounds great right about now. But the real idea is–go to Jesus, and learn from Him. The promise? As we do that, He will give us rest.
In other versions of this passage, Jesus’ words are translated, Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden. Labor likely implies burdens we take upon ourselves, while heavy laden suggests the burdens other people put on us. I think we all understand what it’s like to be weighed down by burdens, or say maybe, expectations.
The theme of the conference I attended this weekend was Hospitality and living lives of invitation. So of course the passage God brings to my mind this morning shows Jesus, once again, inviting all who will come, to Himself. Paying attention (once again) to the burdens people carry, and offering a new way of life in Him.
On that note, May you find rest for your soul.