Day of Rest: Lightening the Load on Sundays

Several weeks ago as our family was meandering around looking for a church to attend one Sunday morning, we were amazed by how many churches started before 10 AM. Several churches we drove past were completely empty as we slowed to read their church sign.

Has this church closed their doors? I had no idea.

Only to discover many church now have church at 9 AM and are out by 10 or 10:30.

This surprised us as a family, and I thought revealed something to me.

“I have always wondered how some of the people I know who attend church have accomplished so much on Sundays. Now I know. They go to church at the crack of dawn and have the rest of the day to get things done.”

Except we still haven’t made it to any of those “early” churches and I’m noticing just how much more time I have on Sundays.

Come to Me, all you 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.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

Do you labor?

Some translations say weary, but I chose a King James Version today because I want to explain what labor means here. Yes, labor means work, but what if it means a little more?

Are you laboring under burdens? Perhaps burdens that you place upon yourself?

I can’t speak for you, but I have spent many a Sunday laboring. In church. Often before church, during church, after church, and then repeat the whole process for Sunday evening services and Wednesday evening services. That’s a lot of burdens to place on oneself.

And as if that isn’t enough, Jesus extends the invitation not only to those who are laboring, but those who are heavy laden. Yeah, exactly what does that mean?

Those pushed down by burdens. 

Wait, I thought laboring was about burdens?

This is a different type of burdens. These are the burdens placed on you by others: religious leaders, members of the congregation, those you think are looking at you to perform a certain task a certain way.

And just thinking about those two things has me exhausted.

Why? Because I’ve been there. I allowed myself to exchange the joy of the Lord for a lot of burdens. A yoke of bondage that the Lord never intended me to carry.

How do I know?

The Lord says if we take His yoke upon us, and learn from Him, He will give us rest.

I listened earlier as my husband told my kids for the umpteenth time in the last month that they really need to join us in the read the Bible in a year plan we’re doing together. He went on to explain amazement at how much we’re learning and growing in just a few minutes a day.

We’ve been seeking Him. Intentionally and yet without telling Him what we expect to find.

Did you catch that? 

Too often we “seek” God, but we’re really only looking for Him to validate our plans, our dreams, and our desires. 

I don’t know what’s next. I know what I hope is next. 

More of Him.

More knowledge from His teaching.

And more rest on Sundays.

photo credit: daystar297 via photopin cc

6 responses to this post.

  1. Excellent truths here. Mary sat at Jesus feet and heard His word.
    Luke 10:40-41 says, “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
    But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
    Amen, more knowledge of Him.
    Peace to you this Sabbath. 🙂


  2. Nice , clean, organized. I like your use of titles, questions, and SHORT works
    ! definetely have to follow somone who has been blogging and posting everyday for YEARS!! I sure i have a lot to learn. I have two blogs athird people will just not let me drop on blogspot


  3. Can I suggest Saturday night service? Most medium to large sized churches have a Saturday evening service. My family has been attending Saturday evening services (at a mainstream Christian evangelical church) for four years now, and I love it! Sunday really is a day of rest for us.

    By the way, I love that you are seeking God without demanding anything specific in return. What a difficult practice.


  4. Barbara, I think I was born a Martha. It's hard to turn off your inner Martha. It's especially hard when you know you're letting others down. However, I've had that truth spoken to me from many an outsider for many a year. I think I'm finally starting to get the message.

    Thank you so much for dropping in! I love to chat, so please come back!


  5. Melanie,

    Thank you so much for stopping by to visit. I can't believe anyone is referring to anything about me as clean or organized, but thank you. 🙂 Sometimes I do those things, and sometimes I don't take the time.

    I also blog in spurts depending on my schedule. Wife, mother, teacher, coach, and until recently a host of other volunteer positions. Some months I can write and other months I dream about writing!

    Please drop in to chat again!


  6. Suzanne,

    That would be a great suggestion, but we live in a very rural, very traditional area. There was one contemporary church about 40 minutes away doing a Saturday night service, but they opened some new campuses and have gone to solely Sundays.

    Thank you so much for dropping in to chat! Please come back to visit again!


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