This week’s gospel reading in the lectionary includes one of my favorite passages. One that I talk about all the time and am learning to practice! In Matthew 11:16-19 Jesus invites us to REST! Many of you know that my hashtag is #RestisHoly. I am a recovering workaholic and have learned the value of practicing rest in order to thrive as a follower of Jesus in our crazy busy world.
Why is it so hard for us to stop and rest? What are your excuses?
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
We all need help when it comes to practicing rest! We all need to follow the example of Jesus who got tired and stopped along the way, who took time away from his ministry to be with God and be alone. We also need guides and practitioners to help us to learn the unforced rhythms of grace!
I want to introduce you to three amazing women of color who have new books that are helping me learn more about the practice of rest!
Pause, Rest, Be: Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change. We really need Octavia’s wisdom right now. She is a yoga instructor so she includes body practices to help us actually PRACTICE rest!
And the third book is by another of my favorite women to follow on Instagram, Tricia Hersey, the Nap Minister. Her book is powerful and gives us all permission to stand against the power of the grind culture. Rest is Resistance
How is your summer going so far? What are the unforced rhythms of grace you’d like to practice between now and the fall?
What helps you actually REST?
LOOK at the quotes below and pick one or two to consider with Jesus….What is Jesus saying to you about rest?
“ We cannot wait for the perfect space or opportunity to rest. REST NOW. Rest is not an extra treat that we must run to but more of a life long, consistent, and meticulous love practice. We must snatch rest.” Rev. Tricia Hersey The Nap Minister
“We must believe we are worthy of rest. We don’t have to earn it. It is our birthright. It is one of our most ancient and primal needs.” Rev. Tricia Hersey The Nap Minister
“Deprogramming our minds and hearts from our toxic brainwashing around naps and rest will increase our ability to craft a rest practice. Our slumber and opportunities for community care will be deeper because of our work in this area. Go slow and realize you have been brainwashed by a system that attaches your inherent worth to how much you can labor.” Rev. Tricia Hersey The Nap Minister
“Productivity should not look like exhaustion” Rev. Tricia Hersey The Nap Minister
“Grind culture is violence. Resist participating in it. “ Rev. Tricia Hersey The Nap Minister
“Any system that degrades and ignores our divine right to have care, rest, leisure’s and space must be examined and illuminated. The time is up for any shallow wellness work that doesn’t dismantle systems that are making us unwell. We must blame and interrogate the systems. They are the problem.” Rev. Tricia Hersey The Nap Minister
ALL Quotes found in REST as Resistance a Manefesto
Matthew 11:16-30 THE MESSAGE
16-19 “How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a boozer, a friend of the misfits. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
20 Next Jesus unleashed on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.
21-24 “Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you. And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.”
25-26 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”
27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
What is Jesus saying to you? How is Jesus inviting you to practice rest?
WATCH Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith’s TEDx TAlk on Rest
PRAY WITH ME:
Uncrowd my heart, O God,
Until silence speaks
In your still, small voice;
Turn me from the hearing of words, and the making of words,
And the confusion of much speaking,
To stillness and
To Silence. In the name of Jesus AMEN
( based on a Prayer by Thomas Merton)
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