Vacationing? Take Jesus With You!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

July is the month when many people like to take a vacation. Whether it is off to the cabin, or to a friend or family member’s house, or to a distant and exotic location, we all like to take some time off of work and relax for a little while. Usually most of our boards here at Redeemer take the month of July off, allowing the members of those boards to spend more time relaxing.
Jesus encouraged this with His own disciples.

In Mark 6:31(ESV), Jesus said to His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” We all need some time for our bodies to rest and get our minds off of the many burdens that daily life brings, and for a little while to be at ease, just enjoying God’s creation, loved ones, and enjoyable surroundings. But this doesn’t mean that we should take time away from God.

Jesus also said in Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV), “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Jesus knows the burdens, stresses, guilts, and shames that lay heavy upon our hearts, souls, and minds. He is also communicating to us one very important and irrefutable truth: He IS the ONLY one who can remove that heavy burden. Unfortunately, many of us try to bear these burdens on our own and without His help, love, comfort, and guidance.

Only His cross and resurrection can take these burdens off of us and on to Him. These burdens come and go regularly and frequently. We then need to be reminded regularly and frequently to put these burdens into His care, to remove the stress and strain on heart and soul.

This is why it is so important that we don’t leave Him at home while we go away on vacation.

Take your Bible along with you, a devotional book or online devotion, or even better, check out a local Lutheran church in your vacation destination. This will only bring more rest to you, not merely to your body and mind, but also to your heart and soul as well.

Jesus is the source of our truest and most complete rest. Let Him take your baggage while you take Him along on vacation!

In Christ’s unburdening love,

Pastor Paul K. Pett

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