When we were driving home from our vacation visiting relatives in Georgia we were discussing what we thought Church should be like. As we were driving along the Highway we saw signs of all kinds. There were Highway signs, advertisements for fuel, lodging, food and other accommodations one might need when they got weary on the highway. It doesn’t take too long for us to get weary in the car after 6 to 8 hours of driving so when we saw the “Rest Area” sign it was rather encouraging. We need to get out and stretch our legs and get away from those 18 wheelers passing us at 75 miles an hour and all the other stresses on the road.  You really have to stay alert and pay attention to everything going on around you. That’s when I began to think of life as the long highway. We all drive the same road. It’s the road of obligation, diligence, and hard work. Everyone has responsibilities in life. We have to work, we have to get up with alarm clocks, we have to struggle with difficult relationships on the job, at school and even in our homes at times. Our lives on life’s road are filled with signs of “must do…, should do…, ought to do,” and responsibilities that make us all weary.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest.” I began to think of Jesus as the great rest area for our lives. God has called us to set aside one day to rest in our lives. In the Old Testament that was the Sabbath day or Saturday. In the New Testament I believe the Sabbath is replaced by the Lord’s Day, Sunday. I don’t think  a church should just hold up more signs of obligations for me to fulfill in life. Even in retirement I have enough “deeds to do and promises to keep” to make me weary at times. I want a church that will lift up the one who delivers me from the curse of the law and sets me free from all the “gottas…” in my life. This is the kind of a “rest” that will prepare you for getting back into the world on Monday.  This is the kind of rest that God intended the Sabbath or the Lord’s day to be.

I want to enter into the “rest” that Jesus offers us along the road of life on Sunday mornings. I want to hear about the one who saved my soul, forgave my sin, and purchased for me a place in heaven where I will inherit an eternal rest. I want to be refreshed in my life with God’s love for me as expressed on Calvary. In Romans 8:5 we read, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” I don’t think that church should simply tell us what to do. I think  church should give us something to believe that settles our hearts and minds. I think church should focus on giving its congregation things to believe about God and his love for us that restores our souls and prepares us for the obligations that always await us in life. I think that’s what Jesus promised when he called us to Himself with the promise of “rest.”