Complete this familiar saying: There’s no rest for the _______. Which word did you use? Weary? Wicked? Jesus speaks to crowds who live under an empire that does not want them to rest. Much like Pharaoh’s Egypt, Rome’s empire ran on the fuel of those conscripted to build, to labour and to fight battles. No rest for the weary and the oppressed!
Jesus’ promise of rest and a light yoke defy the Roman Empire’s demands upon the people to give, give and give some more. Many of the Bible readings this week have direct or indirect connections to God’s liberating ways. Jesus’ invitation to find rest in him reminds me very much of God’s liberation of the people from Pharaoh’s Egypt.
Likewise, sabbath is God’s loving way of reminding us that we have finite strength, energy and capacity. Sabbath is created for us, Jesus declares. There is freedom in the sort of rest Jesus offers. May your sabbath be restful and a time to enjoy creation, community and the liberating love of God.
Thank you, God, for the gift of rest and for Jesus' promise of a sort of peace only he can give. Amen. — BSC