The Rest Giver
“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” —Matthew 11:28
Toil is befuddling. Work is a blessing. The difference between toil and work depends on who you are working for, and how you see yourself working.
I want to speak to how you see yourselves working, or how you should see yourselves working. I just finished reading our monthly newsletter. Excluding its front and back covers, Our Spire is 24-pages long. Granted, the summer edition covers two months, but we haven’t had a slim Spire. Ever. The sacrificial energies you put forth are tremendous. It is incredible to see the amount of work you do not for yourselves, but for the Kingdom of God here (in and around Harford), for those who need to know there is a heaven, and for those who need to be pointed in the direction of heaven.
When I sat in the dining hall for dinner at the fair, I joined a gentleman ten years my senior who I’ve known since I was a boy. We may see each other once a year, if that. His dad, now long gone, is not long gone in my memory because his dad taught me by example how to be a deacon in this church. [The saying in this church is true: once a deacon, always a deacon—even as a third-year student in a doctoral program, I am still—and always—one of your deacons.]
Let me get back to Our Spire. Seriously, truly, and completely, I am INSPIRED by what you do! What I don’t see and read in the newsletter’s pages is toiling. What I do see is work. Hard work. Grunt work. Sacrificial work. Unflattering work. Work that you do willingly—even joyfully.
Research for my degree points me to the foils and fumbles of organized religion. Oh, no, we are not perfect, but, in our work, we are lights to a dark world. You know this.
So, continue working. The Kingdom needs you. Your community needs you. Your unchurched family and friends need to see your heart and your soul is not just in what you say, but in what you do. And that’s Kingdom work.
At the end of your work day, dear Christian, you will agree with me that this is true: the Rest Giver will give you rest.
Well done, good and faithful.
And thank you from one of your deacons.
PRAYER: Lord, You call us to work, and sometimes You call us to work hard. We are not heroes. Sometimes the thought of what we have to do shakes us in our shoes, but what You say is true. You are with us. And so gratefully we work on with You, our Guide in ages past and our hope in years to come. Amen.