“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’” — Mark 2:27
December is by far the busiest time of the year for me. Maybe you can relate. In addition to the busyness of a job or the exams at the end of a school semester, there are tasks that come with each Christmas season. I’m thinking of things like decorating your house, buying and wrapping gifts for others, and attending Christmas parties. You may either be preparing to host your family or preparing to travel to them.
While these activities may be enjoyable, they can also be a source of stress for many. In fact, I recently saw an article that indicated 69 percent of Americans feel stressed during the holidays because they don’t believe they have enough time, while 45 percent of Americans would choose to skip the season altogether rather than face its pressures.
Reading these statistics disheartened me. We’ve seemed to have forgotten the reason for celebrating Christmas at all: the arrival of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, into the world. He would take the sins of His people on Himself and die on the cross, bearing the penalty for them and graciously giving us His righteousness forever. This should be a source of immense joy and freedom, not stress.
What’s more, Jesus spoke often against stress during His time on earth. He told Martha simply to be still and rest from her obligations to serve her house guests in Luke 10:38-42, and He promised to give rest and ease burdens for those who follow Him in Matthew 11:28-30. He knew the cares of this world would cause us stress and was giving us strength to fight.
God made the world in six days and then rested on the seventh, not because He needed to, but because He was giving us an example of rest to model. A Sabbath is one day each week that we rest from our obligations, however many they are, and spend time with God. God gave us a Sabbath because He knows we can’t do it all and we get stressed when we try to. Rest your mind, body and soul in Him and He promises to provide for you exactly what you need.
Have you found your rest in Christ this week? Have you taken your Sabbath?
— Kevin Mercer
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