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Top of Mind Monday - Guest Edition

Good Monday morning, CCC! D.J. here - with Pastor Blake en route to a week of vacation, I've got a couple brief Monday morning thoughts for you as we exit Easter weekend and head into spring break. In keeping with that transition, the two words that are passing through my mind this morning are work and rest.

What a great weekend celebrating the finished work of Jesus Christ! From reflecting on the depths of his suffering for us on the cross through scripture and song Friday night to the glorious truth Blake unpacked for us from the story of the disciples on the Emmaus road on Sunday morning, I hope you were reminded that indeed everything does change when you "See Jesus" for who he really is. There is a lot of work that goes into living the Christian life, as we seek to be led by the Holy Spirit to turn from old, sinful patterns of living and grow in loving others as Jesus has loved us. But it's vital to be continually reminded that the most crucial part of the Christian life, as Brad Sturgill reminded us yesterday, is simply accepting God's grace held out to us by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I hope you were helped this weekend as we were focused on that truth - I know I was!

Sunday came and went, and now Monday's here. And while Monday is usually a day associated with work, the arrival of Shelby County spring break this week means many of us are enjoying a great deal more rest than we usually would. From the many teachers and educators that make up the CCC family to the many families of SCPS students, a lot of us are taking time this week to rest and recoup, whether by heading out of town or by enjoying a break from our routines right here at home. And while spring break sounds a whole lot less spiritual than Easter weekend, we don't have to reach back very far into our recent study of the Ten Commandments to remember that rest is a vital part of the Christian life. In fact, God commanded it.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work ​— ​you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy." - Exodus 20:8-11

God rested from his creation, not because he needed it, but because we need it. He built rest into the creative week to remind us that we are finite, frail, and dependent on him. We can't sustain ourselves. And when we try to sustain ourselves indefinitely, the result isn't good. We burn out. We take out the frustration brought on by our fatigue on those around us. We forget our maker and our savior, and our constant dependence on him. So if you, like me, get to take some time off this week, rest well - enjoy time with family and friends, and intentionally remind yourself that you're dependent on the Lord for everything you are and everything you have. And if today is just another Monday for you, make sure to make time for sabbath rest in the midst of your regular routine, and ask the Lord to sustain you through the ups and downs that each week brings us. And for all of us - make sure and remember that our rest serves as a reminder of the ultimate rest that Jesus' work made available to us - a rest from our strivings to be good enough, and a rest in his amazing, everlasting grace.

"Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from his. Let us, then, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience." - Hebrews 4:9-11

Happy Easter, Christ Community! He is risen! Let's find our rest in his finished work.


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