I came to rest. Why did you come?
The last time I was in the Big Apple I went home battered and bruised. A robot intentionally punctured my left lung and I left the city with multiple scars, including one from the rigid plastic tube inserted into my chest to re-inflate my lung and two on my neck from a stiff plastic catheter in my jugular. It wasn’t much fun.
A year and a half ago, I came to Manhattan for thoracic surgery. The city requires a lot of walking, which I was unable to do. Fortunately, aggressive treatments for myasthenia gravis have strengthened my body, especially my legs. This trip I can walk, so I did. Probably too much. When my neurotransmitters run low I still have to stop and rest. Yesterday when I needed to rest, I just happened to be in front of the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen. I entered the open door.
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” NIV
While my family walked through St. Patrick’s Cathedral, I sat on a pew to rest. I noticed several kneeling near the front. Scattered about the sanctuary others closed their eyes and clasped their hands. Curious tourists wandered in and milled about while some simply sat and observed.
Leviticus 26:2, “You must keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am Yahweh.” HCSB
Without warning the reverent silence was interrupted by the whirling sound of a power drill. Yes, a drill. Two construction workers complete with reflective vests and hard hats repaired a pew. They were there to work.
Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” KJV
I came to rest; they came to work. Surrounded by worshipers who brought their needs and made their requests, they repaired a pew while I rested in one. We were there for different reasons. The door was open and a placard proclaimed,
Welcome to the door of mercy, Jubilee year.
Jubilee. That’s very personal to me.
Leviticus 25:4, “But the seventh year the land will take a Sabbath of complete and total rest, a Sabbath to God.” MSG
WHY DID YOU COME?
Current thought is that ten percent of the church does ninety percent of the work. If everyone did their part we could possibly solve most of the world’s social issues. But we can’t. We aren’t all able-bodied or able-spirited. Instead the church is a broken body. Some are weak and some are strong. Some like me, come to rest. Besides, if we all ran around with drills repairing pews I’m not sure Jesus would be entirely pleased. We might miss the one necessary thing.
Luke 10:41-42, “But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'” ESV
Just as there is value in work, I am learning the value of rest. You may enter the sanctuary for various reasons.
- bring an offering
Regardless of why you came, you are part of the body- a necessary part.
1 Corinthians 12:22, “No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” NKJV
WHY DIDN’T YOU COME?
Or maybe you stayed home. Perhaps you didn’t come because you have little to offer or you are spiritually out of shape. Your body is missing a needed part, even if it’s broken.
Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” NASB
Come into the sanctuary. Come as you are with your needs and hurts and doubts. Come and rest if you need to. Stop and listen; stop and pray. Fill a pew. And when you are strong enough, grab a drill and fix a pew.
What are you doing here?
Today, I came to rest. I left encouraged. I hope you’ll join me.