Day One: Why We Need Rest at Christmas
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” the well-known carol begins. And so we do.
Some of us prepare for Christmas at the first hint of cold weather, while others postpone the inevitable as long as possible.
But at some point we all get caught in a vortex of activity—most of it fun and festive but exhausting nonetheless, leaving our souls feeling both stuffed and empty. Often, it’s in the midst of this hubbub of holiday cheer that we quietly wonder, “Is this all there is?” The good news is that beyond the cookie platters, shopping lists, and decorating is the Son of God made man for us.
God knows we’re prone to frenetic activity. This is one of the reasons He built in a day of rest for the Israelites every six days—that they might pause their doing and recognize the goodness of their God, their own desperate need for Him, and His gift of stillness.
In practicing rest, we acknowledge God’s trustworthiness: even when we cease working, God continues to hold our world together.
This year I invite you, as our Lord and Savior invited His disciples, to come away with Him and get some rest, to slow down and rediscover the wonder and joy of the Christmas season in the midst of your favorite holiday traditions.
But what does that look like?
Over the next four days, we’ll practice restful worship using the acronym REST: remember His goodness, express your neediness, seek His stillness, and trust His faithfulness.
Will you accept His invitation this Christmas season? Come away for a while, and rest.
Prayer: Oh Lord, You know me so well. You know that I long for a wonderful time with family and friends, but I overcommit, overreach, and overreact, and in the end, there’s just too much stress and hurt going around. I don’t want that this year. So I’m coming to You with open arms and an open heart. Here I am. Teach me to celebrate the birth of our Savior from a place of rest. Tune my heart to wonder at Your beauty and sing Your praise. Amen.