It is now the month of July, many of you are probably feeling exhausted from the months of summer. I know that by the time you are reading this, I will be feeling the burn of summer. We find ourselves constantly busy. I hear so many parents talk about how it is a goal to fill every day of the summer for their kids, thus conditioning them for the same hectic lives that we are already carrying.
This makes me wonder did we forget what God did on the 7th day of creation. “on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” He took a day of rest, or a sabbath. Did God really need to rest from creation? No, he didn’t. He rested not for himself, but for us. He rested to teach us how to take a sabbath rest. As Jesus said, “And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
We are not supposed to have every day scheduled. We are supposed to be taking days of rest, for our own sake. We burn ourselves out, we become crankier and less effective in our work. Our children are in key developmental years where they are supposed to be developing creativity. By being always, busy children have been stripped of the opportunities to discover and create new ways to be entertained.
I remember when I was 8 years old wondering around Ankeny with my friends and exploring different places to play. Were we board at times? Yes. But I remember discovering this cool brush that had been crafted into a complex fort by various kids. I remember creating stories involving Super Heroes or having great baseball and football games.
The worst effect of making ourselves over involved is that we have sacrificed that which is most important. We have sacrificed God’s Word. Many have decided that neglect of the Divine Service is an acceptable sacrifice to our altar of busyness. Many have decided that neglecting to attend a regular Bible class during the week, where we can dig deeper into God’s word is less necessary than everything else. Its almost as if when we hear Jesus say that man lives not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God, that Jesus wasn’t talking about us.
Think about that, Jesus said it was more important for Him to be in God’s word than to eat food. He is both the Word and the bread of life. He is what we need above all else. He is our sabbath rest. He says, “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden.”
This summer what can you shave from your schedule. How can you give your children, grandchildren, or even yourself more opportunity to no be busy and explore the world given to you? What is the reason that you find yourselves neglecting weekend worship, daily prayer, or a regular Bible Study? How can you dedicate yourself to being in God’s word above all? Perhaps we pray that God lead us and guide us to a life of service, but not without sabbath rest.
This summer many of you will be going on vacations. This can indeed be a sabbatical for you and your family. Indeed take these vacations even if you decide to go nowhere, or only a short distance, take it. However, should you travel a distance, still do not neglect God’s word. Find a congregation where you are visiting, and attend their services.
You might learn something about that congregation, perhaps you can bring it back and may strengthen your overall walk in faith. If you need to find a congregation, visit www.lcms.org/ and click on the “Find a Church” tab and you will be able to find a church in the area. Or feel free to shoot me a message and I will try to find a church near where you are at.
Blessings on you as you continue through the summer. Take your sabbath rests, and forget not that man lives not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the moth of God.
In Jesus’ Name,
Pastor Neil Wehmas
Last Updated: 7/2/2019