Rest seems really appealing at this time of the year, doesn’t it? All of the hustle and bustle of the Advent season can wear a person down. Instead of focusing on the meaning of Jesus' incarnation, we often find ourselves buried in the minutiae of the current moment. “What should I wear to this party? What should I fix for that gathering? Whom haven’t I shopped for on the list? What is the last day for delivery by Christmas? Why isn’t my family doing more to help me?” The irony is that Advent is a season where we should slow down to contemplate the wonder of Jesus’ birth. Yet many of us work ourselves into a tizzy instead.
Today’s passage comes as a sort of correction or even an invitation to us. We are reminded of the great promise of God’s future rest. This is a rest that we look forward to when our faith in Jesus is made sight. But the passage also mentions the importance of listening today. We must slow down on this day and rest in God’s presence through prayer, listening for His voice and praying that we will not be hardened to His love and grace displayed around us.
In other words, let’s not forget to invite Jesus into all the busyness of preparing for His celebration. Ask the Lord to help you walk closely with Him during this season. Bring Him your burdens, fears, complaints, questions, and requests today. Ask Him to give you renewed joy in all that you do, awareness of His Spirit’s presence, and rest in the midst of a busy—but truly wonder-filled—season!
Hebrews 4:1-10 (ESV):
1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.