Summary: A sermon that tries to compare the need for a rest in music with the need for rest for the Christian.
I am tone deaf.
Those who have heard me sing can only agree with me.
Thank goodness I am not in a denomination where the minister sings the liturgy.
Yet today I would like to give you a Music lesson.
The lesson I would like to teach is that in music there is a space for the rest.
Much great music is two great sounds connected by a rest by silence.
The rest becomes profound when surrounded by brilliance.
Without the rest the music would be too much - They need each other the music and the rest.
In the same way we to need to so compose our lives that we have music (i.e Christian living) and a rest (a sabbath.)
In Hebrews chapter 12 we learn about the rest that the Christian needs.
The concept of Rest is incredibly important to the Christian.
Failure to rest is fatal - it is a recipee for disaster.
Failure to work is also an unmitigated disaster.
When work and rest are beautifully balanced in a Christians life a symphony results.
The kind of music we are calling here is not Beethovens unfinished symphony - which suggests that one is still busy but rather handals Messiah!!
Jesus once said in:-
Mark 6:31: Then Jesus said, "Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest." There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
Faced with unceasing demands Jesus knew that filling these particular needs would not delay the rest it would mean that he had less to give others.
So mindful of God’s teaching on the Sabbath in the Ten commandments Jesus and his disciples retreat for a rest.
There were two woodsmen. One day one woodsman challenged another to an all-day tree chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had.
"I don’t get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."" But you didn’t notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down.
Throughout scriptures and therefore history there are countless examples of the need for rest:-
The third commandment states:-
EX 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
In this passage we read from Hebrews we read:- HEB 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
Today I want to talk about three different rests that we can have that are suggested in the fourth chapter of Hebrews.
2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said:-
Salvation brings rest.
Alcohol doesn’t bring rest merely numbness and poverty.
Intellect doesn’t bring rest merely a journey down a factual tredmill chasing the carrot on the string called knowledge.
One of the great Christian apologists of our age - josh McDowall talks about how Christianity bought a rest to his family.
I’m sure you’ve heard various religous people talking about a bolt of lightening. "Well after I prayed, nothing happened."
I was in a debate with the head of the history department at a University and I said my life had been changed and he interrupted me with, "McDowell, are you trying to tell us that God really changed your life in the 20th century? What areas? After 45 minutes he said, "Okay, that’s enought."
One area I tald him about was restlessness. I always had to be occupied. I had to be over at my girls place or womewhere else in a rap session. I’d walk across the campus and my mind was like a whirlwind with conflicts bouncing off the walls. I’d sit down and try to study or cogiate and I couldn’t. But a few months after I made that decision for Christ, a kind of mental peace developed. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not tqalking about the absence of conflict. What I found in this relationship with Jesus wasn’t so much the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.