Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Relax, the Right Way

Make sure you relax.

That’s good advice heading into Thanksgiving.

That’s perhaps not such good advice heading into the end of the world.

After four weeks, this Sunday I’ll be wrapping up our series How To Survive the End of the World. For some reason I thought I’d try and see if there’s anywhere in the Bible where you can find the word “relax”. I thought it’s got to be in there somewhere. But it’s actually kind of hard to find. In fact you have to diligently search a variety of English translations to find the word “relax” anywhere in the Bible.

One place I found it was in the ESV translation of Luke 12:19 where Jesus tells a story about a man often referred to as “the rich fool.” In Jesus’ story this man hatches a plan to tear down his barns so that he can build bigger ones to hold all his stuff. He’s pretty satisfied with himself over all that he’s accomplished, all that he’s accumulated, and all that he has planned. So he says to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”

In other words, “Note to self, make sure you relax.”

How did that plan work out for him? Not so good.

“But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'” Luke 12:20

Turns out there’s never really a good time to take a break from thanking God and depending on him.

So I hope you all have a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. It’s good to rest and be refreshed. In fact the Bible says it’s a gift of God to be able to enjoy blessings like good food and drink and the company of loved ones.

Just don’t be a fool. Don’t ever forget who it is who blesses you with everything you have—your gracious, generous God. Take time to read his word. Take time to worship him with songs and prayers of thanks and praise around the dinner table.

Our God is so kind and good that he not only gives us our daily bread to strengthen our physical bodies. He also gives us the Bread of Life, his Son Jesus Christ, who forgives our sins and nourishes our immortal souls. Both are gifts to be received with thanksgiving even though one is vastly more important than the other.
  • Sunday at church I’ll be announcing my decision regarding my call to Goodview Trinity in Minnesota. Thanks again for all of your encouragement, words of advice, and prayers!
  • Mark your calendars...this year’s Operation Jesus Cares’ Christmas project with Christ-St. Peters will be held on Thursday, December 19th. There will be a sign up sheet at church Sunday on the OJC table for volunteering for the 19th. Please write your name and email address on the form, and Ryan Solie will send out more detailed emails as the event approaches. There will also be a donation box at the OJC table that you can make donations in. So far we have raised $178.00 towards our goal of $2,000.00.There are a limited number of Sundays remaining until the day of the event, so please consider donating towards the Christmas project to ensure its success.
  • Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.
  • Recorded service video from Sunday.
  • View on online version of this email with pictures on my blog.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

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