Humans were designed for one day of rest per week. They need it to be at their best the other six days.
But even if you go to school or work five days a week, the other two days don’t always feel like rest, do they? The bully we call Busy has muscled his way through our good intentions and permanently set up camp on our calendars.
This is especially true during Advent and Christmas.
But I don’t think Jesus came to make your life MORE burdensome.
Matthew 1:17 summarizes Jesus’ genealogy like this: “So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.”
That’s six sevens. So Jesus is the start of the seventh seven. Here’s why it matters.
In the Bible, the seventh day is a day of rest. And every seventh year, farmers were supposed to let the land replenish. And in Leviticus 25 we learn that the final year in the seventh period of seven years was a jubilee. Debts would be forgiven, slaves would go free, and people would have a deep and abiding rest—something that foreshadowed a day when God would renew all things.
Therefore, Jesus coming into the world represents ultimate rest. As he says in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
But how many of us can honestly say that our Christmas celebrations intentionally help us find rest and renewal?
(And yes, I struggle with it too!)
That’s why we need to look at our schedules and schedule in rest. Maybe even cancel something that isn’t important. Just be aware of God’s presence, his goodness, his rest.
When I’m rested, I enjoy things more. I think more clearly. And I’m a better person to the ones around me.
What about you?
Join me in scheduling some time to rest. As a result, you’ll probably experience—and give—more joy this Christmas.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on December 5th.