The world is not the way it’s supposed to be, and so in some sense, it is impossible to rest. There’s nothing we can do. The Bible doesn’t call us to pretend. It calls us to wait. In Psalm 4, King David teaches us to wait.
Advent is about waiting for Jesus and refusing to settle for the empty rest on offer by the world. Waiting is a kind of rest, but it is a rest that laments. Listen as Dave unpacks Psalm 3, a psalm about how King David waited in a cave when his life was falling apart.
In order to be Christian, rest must be honest. In Advent, we are encouraged to find our hope in Jesus. Our rest is an expression of trust in God, but we remain sensitive to the tremendous need of the world for Christ to come again.
True rest begins with faith in God and increases our faith in God. If we are resting well, we should reenter our world empowered for life in God and ready for work. Listen as Dave begins our turn back to work, preaching through Psalm 8.
Quality rest results in thankfulness. As we set aside our work and focus on what we have already been given by God, we are inspired to re-enter work with hope. If God has given so much, will he not give me what I need for today?
But it's easy to focus only on what we lack. Thankfulness, like rest, requires diligence. Psalm 103 teaches us how to pursue thankfulness, and to forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:2)
Jesus tells his disciples that, "Whoever does not receive the kingdom like a child shall not enter it." (Luke 18:17) One of the defining characteristics of children is their love for play. Kids turn every circumstance and every place into an opportunity to play. How might that relate to life in the kingdom of God? Listen as Pastor Dave walks through Psalm 104 and invites us to see the world through the eyes of play.
Work wears us out in every way. In the same way that we need to rest our bodies and our minds, we need to rest our souls. Psalm 19 promises that soul-rest is found in God's Word. The Bible is like a chiropractor that puts our faith back in alignment to him, so that we can again go out into the world and live for him.
Once we clear our schedules and clear our minds, what do we do in order to rest? Psalm 19 teaches us that our rest must include both God's creation and God's Word. This week, Pastor Dave focuses on our need for creation. How does time star-gazing contribute to our rest?
In order to rest, Psalm 131 teaches that we must "calm and quiet our souls." But how do we do that? In our noisy world, full of distractions and interruptions, quiet doesn't just happen. It's a process. Listen as Dave works through the path of Psalm 130 that moves us to the calm of Psalm 131.
"The LORD is my Shepherd. I shall not want." Could there be a better description of rest? Rest is the experience of not wanting. Wanting is work -- it disturbs our rest by distracting us from receiving what God has already given us to enjoy. Psalm 23 reminds us all we have in Jesus Christ and frees us from want so we can rest.
Does your work and life keep you from resting? Do you feel guilty whenever you rest? In order to truly rest, you have to be free and feel free. In this week's sermon, God teaches Israel that they are no longer slaves by giving them a new rhythm of work and rest.