This old world is worn out and weary. Though that may sound like a cliché, it’s true in so many ways. The earth itself is tired. Unnatural agricultural methods have stripped it of its life and fertility. Like my neighbor’s field in which nothing will grow, not even weeds! Because they’ve over-used weed killer and chemical fertilizers, it now sits there, worn out and useless.
But the world’s inhabitants are even more weary than the planet on which they dwell.
We live in a world under pressure. Like a powder keg, about to go off. Few nations are free of armed conflict or war. Hunger, poverty, and sickness abound. And people are weary of it all. Tired of inequality, battered women, and abused children. Sick of being taken advantage of. And tired of working, working, working — without ever seeming to get ahead.
This tired world and its weary inhabitants need rest. And that is the message we, as Christians, have to offer.
We see the desperate need of rest in today’s rapidly changing, fast-paced world. And we’d like to help others find it. But sometimes we forget enter it ourselves.
We forget to cease striving. To stop fretting and worrying. We get so taken up with problems, with getting ahead, or just getting through the week. Sometimes we even get too taken up with church work and activities.
And the world around us sits and watches. “Where is this rest they talk about?” it asks.
They’re waiting to see Christians who have deep abiding rest, like Mary when she just sat at Christ’s feet. Or Christians like Paul and Silas, who even when their world was falling apart, trusted God. Believers who are joyfully at peace no matter the circumstances.
Entering God’s rest means slowing down and taking time in his presence. And it’s important we do so, because the stakes are high.
Finding rest in this weary world under pressure is necessary for our own spiritual survival. But we also owe it to the weary, tired people around us. Because with our words we offer Christ’s rest. But they need to see it in action.
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].
Now, in these troubled times, is the time to show them!
[Image taken in Cilento, Campania ©TheScorziellos-Mario]