In the Company of Jesus

How’s it going for you? What a few months it has been. None of us will have seen it coming this time last year. Yet we have lived through four extraordinary months, and life will continue to be extraordinary for some time yet. You might have been adjusting to working from home, or on furlough. You might have been suddenly thrown into the challenge of home-schooling. You might be a local church leader who has rapidly up-skilled to become adept at online ministry. It might have been a time of real struggle and loss, perhaps looking ahead to an uncertain future.

However it has been for you, one thing I am hearing lots of people say is that they are really tired. All this adjustment and disorientation has taken its toll. And somehow, from somewhere, we need a rest. I’d really encourage you to get a break this summer, whatever form that takes.

Yet there is another dimension to rest. Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ The kind of rest Jesus means here is not like putting the towel down on the beach – assuming we could get there! It’s a different, deeper quality of rest and refreshment which we all need. It’s about the sense of peace, contentment and fulfilment of living in the love of Jesus. Out of that loving relationship, knowing the forgiveness and acceptance of God, comes refreshment and assurance, and a letting-go of fear and anxiety.

A story Christians often remember when thinking about rest is that lovely account in Luke 10 of when Jesus visited the home of his friends, the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is very busy around the house and complains that Mary is just sitting listening to Jesus. Jesus responds gently to Martha but commends Mary for choosing to spend time quietly in his company.

We might or might not get away for a holiday this summer. As I write, foreign travel has suddenly become more difficult again. But Jesus still offers us the rest and refreshment that comes from being closer to him. I certainly feel called to find out more of what that means for me just at the moment, and maybe God is calling you to do the same. Drawing breath this summer could mean spending time some time prayer and quietness in the company of the Jesus who offers us rest. And the rightness and reassurance of being in his company brings renewal and refreshment. You might quite rightly still be wanting a holiday as well! But this summer, why not look as well for the company of Jesus and the rest he offers your soul?

Page last updated: Tuesday 28th July 2020 12:57 PM
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