“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2.2-3From Sam Lomas:
I remember having ‘rest’ forced upon me after picking up an injury towards the end of my marathon training. It meant that with just weeks to go before taking part in the 2015 London marathon I couldn’t get out and train.
I had picked up a repetitive strain injury from all the exercise I had been doing to prepare my body for the 26.2 mile run I was due to take part in. Being told by the physio that I must rest, and not train, was so tough to hear! Resting was not something that had ever come naturally to me. As a child, I would always say “I’m bored” if I wasn’t out and about doing something. So, having to put my running shoes down and allow my body to recover was a form of torture.
As I look back on it now, my weakness in not being able to rest highlights something wrong deep within me. We are not created to be constantly on the go. We are not made at the default setting of ‘busy’ or ‘in a rush’. Instead we have been created by a God whose desire for us is to find rest. The rest we need most is found in Jesus. Ultimately, through Jesus we find eternal rest, but in the present age, we can also find rest for our tired bodies.
A book that has been really helpful for me and many others is ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ by John Mark Comer. Comer’s writing is conversational, humorous and very easy to follow. He explores how our world is becoming increasingly fast paced with ‘burn out’ becoming a new norm. Comer believes that the answer to the problem of always being in a ‘hurry’ isn’t that we need more time. Rather, it is that we need Jesus.
This really helpful book outlines the easy to understand theology of sabbath rest and explores how slowing down is closer to being like Jesus than we perhaps realise. Comer explores a number of Bible passages, including Matthew 11.28-30 (the Bible reading from yesterday’s service). Comer provides helpful practical advice for slowing down and embracing rest well.
If you found my sermon helpful yesterday, then this book is certainly the next step for you. It can be purchased here: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry