Longing for Rest

If you're anything like me, you’ve been itching for a holiday – and I’m not talking about school holidays with the kids being stuck at home, simply trying to make sure everyone is alive at the end of the day. I’m meaning a break, a real holiday, a getaway and a rest, a change of space and pace. This week the government announced exactly how close that day is. The time that we can go away for holidays is not far off!


During this time, while I have been longing for a holiday, I’ve been reflecting just on how that is such a prominent theme all through the Bible. The rest that was established and the beginning, the rest that is looked forward to by Israelites in the wilderness, then after establishing themselves in the promised land – a realisation that the great rest was not yet found, and finally the promises of a Nazarene carpenter, who would turn the world on its head with his promises of the rest that is to come in, through and by Him.


Because the truth is that while we long for that holiday, that break, that refuel, that rest…The problem is that holidays never really hit the mark. They never fully scratch the itch. C. S. Lewis said,


The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy. I am not now speaking of what would be ordinarily called unsuccessful marriages, or holidays, or learned careers. I am speaking of the best possible ones…


That our longing is truly for a greater rest to come, a greater holiday. One where our minds and hearts will no longer ache or worry. Where fear and worry will be scattered as dust is to the wind. As we long for a holiday – to be reconnected – to relax – let us enjoy them for what they are – eat well, laugh hard, drink good wine. But may too remember the rest to come. When all shall be made right. And let us not seek for the shadow to do what only the real thing can – and will.


Jamie Mackenzie

Assistant Minister