It was during the Jewish harvest festival that Jesus shouted out these words. It isn’t difficult to imagine the setting. They had a long season of working in the gardens, wheat fields and in the vineyards. Then the long hours toiling to bring in the harvest and finally a break! It was the Jews’ Labor Day weekend.
For the bones and muscles a nice relaxing weekend is “just what the doctor ordered,” but there is more to rest than cold beverages and an easy chair. There is also another type of rest that only God can give – rest for the soul. Worship and rest go together and complement each other. Worship puts things in perspective. We contemplate God’s work of creation, redemption, and sanctification. In worship we find forgiveness and rest for our souls.
God also wants us to take time off for rest and relaxation. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” There is a time to rest from our labors and enjoy the accomplishments that God has blessed us with.
I am headed off to my cabin up on the Tanana River for a little hunting, fishing, and rest. It is always a time of thinking and planning, but the break from the usual schedule and time in the wilderness helps me think clearer.
I hope you had some time for rest this summer or maybe you are planning a little get away to somewhere warm, when the dividends come. May God give you rest for soul and body each and every weekend.
Written by Rev. Andy Carlson, Sr. M.Div. Pastor Carlson grew up with twenty-two siblings in a log cabin in the back woods of Alaska (120 miles from the Arctic Circle). He has served 22 years in the parish (5 of those years was as a Navy/Marine chaplain). He is a Gulf War Veteran. He has served Funny River Community Lutheran Church, since 2015. Sunday services are at 11 a.m., followed by a lunch that everyone is invited to. The church is located at 15 mile Funny River Rd. (take a right on Rabbit Run and go a ¼ mile to the church). The church website is www.funnyriverlutheran.org