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As a boy I delivered newspapers in order to earn money. Since it was a morning newspaper, I was required to get up at 3:00 every morning, 7 days a week, in order to have all 140 of my papers delivered to their appropriate homes by 6:00 a.m.
But one day each year was different. We would deliver the Christmas morning newspaper on Christmas Eve—meaning that Christmas was the only morning of the year I could sleep in and rest like a normal person.
Over the years, I came to appreciate Christmas for many reasons, but one that was special in those days was that, unlike any other day of the year, it was a day of rest.
At that time, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of the true rest that Christmas brings. Christ came so that all who labor under the weight of a law that can never be fulfilled might find rest through the forgiveness Christ offers. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). In a world that is too much for us to bear alone, Christ has come to bring us into a relationship with Him and give us rest.
What burdens would you like the Lord to carry for you? Ask Him today.
Our soul finds rest when it rests in God.
The words of today’s passage have been loved and memorized by many: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (v. 28). What more do we need than rest from our difficult and wearying lives? But that rest must be understood in its context. Jesus was speaking to Jewish people in the first century—people who had been raised under the assumption that you had to work to earn God’s favor or to be in right relationship with Him. It is to those who labor under the burden of keeping the law that Jesus says, “Come to me.” We come to know and love God by placing our trust in Jesus’ payment for our sin, and we demonstrate our love for God by doing what He commands (John 14:21).