Doesn’t it feel great to get invited? It might be a birthday party, a wedding, or any other festive occasion. Getting invited makes us feel welcomed and wanted. The invitations tells us: “I want you to be here with me”.
God, as we read in the Bible, is One who invites mankind to join Him in celebration. For example, in the three-fold parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son (Luke 15), each time it’s God, the One who finds what was lost, who invites friends and neighbours to join Him in the celebrations. And some people would have it that our God is dull! Obviously, He isn’t.
There’s yet another timeless invitation which calls us from the Gospels, and it’s our scripture for today. Jesus invites us to come to Him, so we might find rest for our weary souls. It’s as if He says: “Don’t worry that you feel heavy and down. Don’t worry if you feel that you won’t bring any life to the party. I just want you to come, because I have a great gift for you - the gift of true rest.” Isn’t that wonderful?
God is a God of rest. He’s not a slave driver, nor is He demanding and exacting. He doesn’t place heavy burdens on us. On the contrary, He’s kind and gives us rest. We can already see this in the first chapters of the first book of the Bible.
The creation account tells us that God created humankind on the sixth day, and that He finished His creation work when He made us - people in His own image and likeness. The next day, the very first full day for mankind, was a Sabbath. So, humankind started life on earth with a day of rest, a lovely day in the presence of God, simply enjoying being, and being with Him. What a start to life!
Jesus told us that the day of rest was made for the benefit of humankind (Mark 2:27). We get a day of rest, not because we somehow ‘deserve it’ or ‘have earnt it’, but simply because God is good to us, and He wants us to enjoy rest and time with Him.
Jesus invites us to come to Him and to find His rest. We need to honour that great invitation and come to Him and find the rest that He promises. We might find that a bit hard to do, and pressures from the inside might urge us on to continued busyness.
Nonetheless we have to make sure that we come to Him to receive what He promised. He’ll help us, and, if needed, show us why we might struggle to enter into His rest. He knows that we’re created to find rest in Him and Him alone. In the words of Psalm 62:1, ‘Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him’.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for the rest that You give and thank You Jesus for inviting me to come to you to receive rest for my sometimes troubles soul. I come now and ask You to help me receive the rest You promised. In Jesus’ name, Amen.