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3 May 2021

One of the first things I do before the start of a new year is to check when the 11 public holidays fall on. It is a good time to plan out vacation time, especially during long weekends. It creates special events to look forward to throughout the year with the family.

We all crave a break from the daily grind to recharge and relax. We are simply not created to work without resting. We are not machines that can continue non-stop and expect to have no consequences to our health. It is especially important in these times when some are still working from home. When the routine of packing up to go home is removed, we tend to give in extra hours to try and complete a task for work.

When God created the heavens and the earth, He did it in six days and rested on the seventh. Even though God Himself did not require any rest, it was done as an example for humankind to follow (Deut 5:12-15, Exo 20:8). In Mark 2:27, Jesus taught that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. This day of rest was a gift from God, intended to serve mankind, giving us restoration. Therefore, God recognizes the need for mankind to rest from his work.

Apart from our work in the secular marketplace, this rest is also applicable to our service to Him in church. Jesus would often go to an isolated place away from the crowds to pray alone (Mark 1:35, Luke 9:18). He never seemed to be in a hurry and took His time to commune with His Father. When Martha complained about Mary’s unhelpful attitude, Jesus pointed out that sitting at His feet and listening to His teachings was the better option (Luke 10:38–42).

Our service in church should never take away our time with God. Praying and studying His Word is always the better option. Whenever we become too busy with administrative things, we lose focus about why we are part of a local church. Our place of worship is called a sanctuary for good reasons. It is a place of refuge from the busyness of the world that threatens to weary us with many anxieties. This spirit of busyness must not enter the church!

The day of rest that our Father has given us is precious. It is a time when we contemplate who He is and what He has done for us. It is a time to retreat from the world and enter His presence through prayer and the Word. Take time this Sunday to rest from the weariness of this world.

Dn. Mervin Lin

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