Your Morning Coffee 08/09/2022
Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father remind us of who we are, of whose we are. Father, we belong to you. You made us, you declared us very good, you responded to our sin with grace, and are bringing us back to yourself to rest with you forever. Be near us today, Father, as we crave the rest-full-ness of your presence. Inspire us to pray to you, to sing with you, and to talk about you. Fill us up with the fruit of your Spirit and the joy of your joy, so that all would see the evidence of Jesus in us. Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the Spirit, help us to rest in you today, your doings, your desires, your declarations. We are your trusting children.
Your Morning Song: "I Just Need You" by Toby Mac
Your Morning Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all who labor 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.”
It's fitting that we're talking about this today after everything that's happened. My wife's serious injury to her hand, ER and hospital visits, and now I'm sitting here in the lobby as she is in surgery. And I'm writing this right now? Why?
Rest. Sunday we talked about rest. After all the reading and research and rehearsing I did for Sunday's sermon, I am writing from where I said we all live, all the other days of the week, in all of the other places we find ourselves. And I need to be reminded right now that Jesus offers us rest. And not just any kind of rest, but a divine rest that gives more than anything in life can take.
In Genesis 1 we found that God, with Moses, re-introduced the Egyptians's Hebrew slaves to themselves, to their true identity as the pinnacle (very good) of God's creation. And that as he, God, decided their identity by his work, not theirs, he also called them to re-understand their place in God's creation, the very good, called to eternally rest with him. And the word used here, "moad" was one of the words used to mean Sabbath. The holy rest of worshipping God, stepping fully away from work, enjoying each other, enjoying all of creation, and doing so not FOR God, but WITH God.
God's people then derive their identity from his making, and are called to live, with him, out of this identity as created. Who God's people are is then defined by who made them, not by what they can make, such as Egyptian bricks.
How else then should we hear Jesus's call in Matthew's Gospel? He calls out to those who labor and are heavy laden under the legalistic religious slavery of the Pharisees, and offers rest, Sabbath, identity defining closeness with God, not the barren "brickmaking" of stillborn, box-checking, false piety.
Just as for the Hebrew slaves, physically freed but needing clear, soul-deep direction, and just as for the laboring and heavy-burdened that heard Jesus's words, God calls out to us too, rest.
Jesus offers us a yoke of learning about him and following after him, and this yoke defies all other yokes that are used to pull something, and instead here this yoke will pull us forward, pull us onward, pull us further up and further in to God's delight-full presence. Our obedience to what we learn, so yoked, is the heart of our becoming ever-more like Jesus.
I need this right now. My stomach growls for lunch, but my heart and mind, my soul, my whole, cries out for rest. And I have it, even as I crave it. Our Heavenly Father's love for my wife and I shouts aloud in the amazing and odd ways he protected and provided for us during this scary time. The Holy Spirit rest-full-ly guides and directs my thoughts, bearing the fruit of joy and laughter in my wife's prep room as we are at peace. And Jesus continues to make all of this possible, alive, interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.
My whole life rests on God's rest. His presence. His delight. His joy. His love. His mercy. His grace. His making and sustaining. He truly is our loving Father. And I am his trusting, rested child, because of his son.
Let my resting be
Who I am
because of God.