Rest seems to be all so elusive in today's fast-paced culture where everything and everyone are always on the move, and the Christmas season is no exemption. In fact, the rush can sometimes grow more intense during December with all the party preparations, gift buying, reunions, travels and ministry commitments.
Honestly, I tend to forget sometimes that the holiday season is a perfect season to rest and recreate. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that God desires and maybe even requires some of us to find and maximise rest this holiday season. The message of Christmas is no different from the gospel: how the final say and authoritative work of a faithful God to save us and restore us back to Him is what gives us hope, not our own good works. And in that message we can rest.
Jesus invites us in Matthew 11:28-30, saying, "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
That's what the Christmas message is: It's the call to do three things:
1. Come to Christ
Like the old Christmas song goes, "O, Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord." Christmas is a season to approach Christ just like any day is. There's no reason to put Christ aside this Christmas season just because we're packed and stressed with all the celebrations. We can and should approach Christ because He is the reason for the season. Without Jesus, there is no point to Christmas or any part of the year for that matter.
2. Cast Your Burdens Upon Him
The past four Christmases have been nothing short of burdensome for me and my family. It seems that a challenge always seems to find its way into the celebration, and I don't think that's ever going to change. Trials will come with no consideration for whatever season it is.
But the beauty of that is that God invites us to put our hope in Christ, who came into this world to bring peace and goodwill to all mankind. Peace is not the absence of a storm, but the presence of solace even when we face the storms. We can experience that peace in Christ today.
3. Find Rest for Your Souls
Are you looking for rest for your weary soul? Have you been battered spiritually, physically, emotionally or mentally this year? Know that in Christ there is complete rest, even for your soul. And this rest comes only when we take Christ's yoke upon ourselves and give Him ours.