August Reverend Reflections

Hello First Presbyterian Church,

I am writing this reflection on my couch during a week off. I needed this time away and my body has confirmed that need by issuing me a migraine for which the only treatment is rest.

As I lay here I am finding great comfort in the words that Jesus spoke to defend his healing of a man on the Sabbath in John 5—”My Father is still working, and I also am working.” What Jesus is telling us is that he doesn’t take a day off. If he did the world would come apart at the seams. After all, “in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The sabbath was made for humanity, but God never rests.

We take time off. Every night we lie around inactive for 8 (6 anybody?) hours. We get sick and find ourselves out of commission. God does none of these things and none of these things happen to him. Our Father is always working. It is a pretty elementary thought. It’s not really all that profound. And yet we deny both God’s power and our limitations daily. We push and refuse to stop, because we don’t ultimately trust God. The two hardest letters to say to people are “n” and “o” because we have delusions of needing to do God’s work for him.

But we’ll never fully trust God or know the comfort we seek from him unless we say “no” and stop regularly. It is a lesson my body is teaching me this very moment. I may be out of commission but my Father is still working. In him I am going to rest now and I’ll see you soon.

As we enter into another season affected by COVID-19 and much is demanded of you, may you remember the same. You can’t do it all. You never could, but COVID has made that more obvious than ever. Instead, do what you can and rest in the fact that our Father is still working. It is his kingdom we live in and the work is ultimately his. May you find peace in learning to say “no.”

Grace and peace,

Jonathan +