Someone suggested that I use a blog entry to follow-up my sermon for the day. I have long resisted adding a new task or job to the already full "to-do" list.
However, today, I felt a real calling to re-cap the sermon, not because of what I said, but because of what the Holy Spirit said so clearly this morning.
I preached at the Fairpoint Campus and had planned to start the Vacation Series by answering the question, "Where do you go for Rest?" I used the passage from Matthew 11: 28-30 where Jesus encourages "everyone who is weary and needs rest to take his Yoke upon Him." So, I wrote the sermon early in the week and turned in the outline for the bulletin.
However, last night God changed directions based on me reading Eugene Peterson's The Message translation of the passage. It was like a seismic shift in my thinking for the passage, so I scrambled to re-write the sermon.
Here was my short-take on this new direction...
Christ was talking to those of us who have spent most of our time trying to be our "own God". In fact, it is clear that Jesus is talking to the religiously settled and faithful, but who have become tired and weary of not being able to be everything for everyone.
After assuring the listener that God wants us to find rest (real rest) that begins in our souls and that is not just a "break from the day", Jesus provides three suggestions for making this happen.
Here they are:
1. Come to me: Change the patterns of your life and devote yourself to follow me. I particularly loved the phrase that said "I will not burden you more than your are able..."
2. Walk and Work With Me: After setting your eyes on Christ, you will get to know him and learn his ways which become a model for how we are to live, treat one another and make decisions in the world.
3. Keep Company with Me: By following me, you become like me and you are family. This changes everything including how we view ourselves, our world and the ways to make a difference in both.
It is powerful stuff. God wants us to have real rest that is meant for the deepest parts of us. All we need to do is follow Christ's example and live faithfully as He leads. Sound simple. God meant it that way.
Watch the sermon at www.gbumc.org
Love you all.
Matthew 5; 13-16