Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Rest… A break from all the bustle and activity. Rest…A chance to renew, to stop, to slow. Rest… And end of work, if only for a little while. Rest…An opportunity to stop doing that you may simply be. Rest…What a beautiful word!

Jesus' simple invitation in Mark 6:30-34,53-65  to "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile" is not just an invitation to take an afternoon off or go on vacation -- though those may be important elements -- this is an invitation to loosen our shackles and climb out of the cages we've constructed from a culturally-fed belief that more is the ticket to happiness and that work is the ticket to more.
Maybe that's the key thing about Sabbath rest and our Bible discussion and reflection?  They provide a chance to step back from all the things that usually consume us so that we might experience God's presence and a sense of contentment and give thanks.
 Jesus wants us to rest. He wants us to recognize the “trap” we call success and the rat race we call modern life. He wants us to reflect on how much time we really spend together and actually enjoy the things we’ve worked so hard to attain.
God wants us to live an abundant life. Abundant life doesn't consist of merely more and more. "Abundant" ultimately isn't a quantitative term but a qualitative one.
How do we begin? Maybe we might consider just one evening when we will shut down our computer, or turn off our cell phones or, say no to one obligation or appointment. After all, it’s summertime and the living is easy.
(David Lose, Marbury E. Anderson Biblical Preaching Chair, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN)


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