rest

Sermon today on Sabbath. Jesus is the Real Sabbath and we can dwell in Him constantly. Spent a little pocket of time in Starbucks squinting over Hebrews 4 and remembering how sweet those words were to me in mid-April.

The words are very stern: refusing to rest is faithless disobedience. It is sin. I love the suggestion in v2 that rest is a communal effort (“they were not united by faith with those who listened”), and this ties in with what was preached today — that our rest isn’t just about the individual, but also frees others to rest. Exodus 20 puts rest in the context of a community built on hierarchical relationships (v10). Like recursively relaxing edges in Dijkstra’s harhar. But really, I must STRIVE (Heb 4:11) with all my might to enter into this rest because the work of Jesus is perfect and complete, mysteriously prepared before the foundation of the world.

I wish the battle with various states of unrest were easier, or at least more straightforward. I wish feelings were not so strong/blinding. One day everything will make sense (Rev 21:4 anybody?!), but for now this is my duty! To fight, and I want to do it gladly. Not to be free from work but free in work.

Sad that this is my penultimate weekend here. Everything has been so new, so different – structure of the day, people I am surrounded by, WEATHER, living condition, church, etc. A lot of similar-sounding questions have been posed & re-posed to myself and to others over the summer, especially about the future. Would I come back? Do I have a say? And it’s almost paralyzing to think about them, because they’re so big and have an infinite set of dependencies. But the funny thing is in truth these questions are pretty peripheral. Breakdown and fear and stress and antsy behavior (sometimes externalized as aggression, haughtiness, expectation readjustment and defensive behavior) are signs that my dependencies are configured wrongly. And that I am asking the wrong questions, or at least placing central weight on what should be peripheral (and peripheral/negligible weight on what should be central). Am I in a place where I can love God and love my neighbor? GOOD ENOUGH! God will provide for everything else in season, out of his abundance of wisdom & richness.

This week two words have been in my head a lot – stay low. Stay low. In an interview be rid of pride and conceit about notions of your own mental capacity and be excited and interested to learn. In a conversation quit judging / doing that cool aloof sizing-up thing we are such experts at and love the person you are talking to. When you find that your heart is cold and dead and unable to be genuinely interested, humbly acknowledge your lovelessness and cry out to God for help. It is three billion worlds away from how I typically go through my day, but I suspect it is the much more livable way, and the way of joy.

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