So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

Hebrews 4: 9, 10

 

These are not restful times, and most people are not very comfortable in entering into rest, either. The days in which we live are filled with activity and with agitation. These forces operate somewhat like the various streams of high velocity water that crash together from many directions to form the turbulence of a section of white water rapids. This sort of multi-vector swirling violence can overwhelm and drown anyone who gets caught in it. Even skilled boaters can be overcome in a singular careless moment. The forces that are at work in our world can do the same. On top of that, many people, even people who know God, have become hyper-vigilant due to the concerns and the fears that are surrounding our hearts and minds.

 

However, Christ seems to desire for His people to live differently from all of this. He calls to us to enter into a form of rest that is a gift from God to the people of this war torn land. The vacation from the conflict that Christ directs us toward is different from the sort of hiatus from combat that soldiers sometimes enjoy, for Christ’s rest is not found in disengagement or in temporary insulation from the stressors of this world. Instead, it is achieved through the realization of the ultimate and final truth of the cross of Jesus. The ability of this world to bring about true harm to people was nailed to that cross, and nothing that Satan and his forces of evil can bring to bear upon Christ’s people can actually damage the part of us that has eternal significance.

 

The rest that we can accept from Christ’s sacrifice is His gift to us. Entering fully into that rest is a form of service that we can render in return. Herein lies the difference from the sort of vacations that people usually plan for themselves and the form that resting in Christ takes for His people. Our vacations are generally times during which we seek to escape from engagement with our world. They are filled with activities that take our minds off of what occupies them during the rest of our days. The Sabbath rest that Christ gives to us is fully scheduled with engagement in our world. It provides the sort of peace that frees our hearts and our minds to engage in fierce and fearless love for others and that establishes worship as the rhythm of our days.

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