We live and move in a world that no longer rests. What’s more, the number of places that you can rest seems to be on the decline. But rest is not only a geographical reality, it is also a spiritual reality. One that can often be found in people.
I have a friend, her name is Heather. She has been the organist for 54 years in the church where I was once a minister. I finished my work at that church 15 years ago.
Nevertheless, every year we receive a Christmas card from her and a warm letter or gift.
In a world of free-floating anxieties, she is an anchor. Some might criticise her for not getting out and about more often and doing something new. Not me, I admire her.
This woman is reliable and dependable. Her roots have gone down deep and you can lean on her for tea, cake and a decent chat.
She is not panicked or anxious about the world around her, the changing of the guard in her church or the turbulence that sometimes accompanies Christians who live and work in close proximity.
Heather has set her sights on the promise that whatever circumstances may come her way, God will, in the end, be exalted.
I have a friend, his name is Mark. He has lived in the same street all his life. He was born in that street, was raised in that street and when he was old enough, he married a girl and moved into a house in the same street.
He has had one job, one house, one church and one wife all his life.
Some might argue that such a man should go out and get a life. He has one. And, as he heads towards 60 he is becoming more and more like a sturdy oak tree. He knows the people in his town, and they know him.
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He knows the history of those around him, his church and his neighbourhood.
His roots go down delightfully deep and this has meant that many a traveller has been able to lean on him for comfort, strength and consolation.
In saying this, I am not saying that Sabbath rest is something located over here or over there. Rest is located in the human heart of those who live in joyful submission to Jesus.
Those who are content to let their roots go down deep and who are called to be geographical anchors in their community help the rest of us to balance our own wobbly canoes.
No doubt there are people in your life who reflect this stability and contentment. Perhaps it is a grandparent, a Pastor, a friend or a father.
These are the people you lean on when the going gets tough.
Some of us are called to move from place to place and this can sometimes make our rest more complicated. But God is gracious and gives us mighty oaks like Heather and Mark.
These oaks reflect for our sakes the value of living a life that is deeply rooted in Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath.
Jesus, who never leaves, never forsakes. Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Jesus, on whose account I find myself in praise of those who are standing still.