Unofficial summer greetings! Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is upon us. Vacations are beginning, kids are off to summer camp and even when you’re stuck in the city there’s a lot of fun to be had. And this is as it should be. God intends for us to incorporate seasons of rest into our otherwise busy and frantic lives. Not only did God rest after 6 days of creation, he gave us bodies that cannot function without sleep, called us to a day of rest every week and established seasons for replenishment and rest for the earth. Why would God establish such inefficiency? So that we might better understand God’s bountiful grace.
In the creation story, God made all things and called them good before making Adam and Eve. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit didn’t need us or respond to anything we had done, but welcomed us into fellowship and flourishing as an outpouring of divine love. In the Exodus story, God rescued the Israelites out of slavery and brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey—despite their grumbling and disobedience—because God loved them. These stories anticipate Jesus, who came as a gift and through whom we receive salvation through no effort of our own. We can rest, both spiritually and physically, because God has given us everything in Jesus. This is what Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Ephesus, an industrious and busy commercial center in the first century.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
So let me encourage you to take some time out of your busy schedule and relax this summer. This isn’t an act of self-indulgence. It’s good Christian practice because it embodies trust in God’s goodness and grace to us in Jesus.