Today’s readings bring an invitaion to rest in God. Paul speaks of God’s love for us through Christ Jesus and uses words like lavish, extravagant, freely, fullness… the list goes on. The line that shocks me most is this:
[He] has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. Ephesians 1:3-4.
I know a little of who I am, and often it’s not pretty, but God knows everything and regards me as holy and without guilt before him. When he sees me, he sees the righteousness of Christ. Do I REALLY believe that? Do I enjoy and rest in this truth or do I squirm out of his embrace to check off things on my to-do list to justify my existence, or grab my cell phone to make sure that I haven’t missed something, someone, anyone but God?
Sometimes, I make life so complicated, so hard when all I need is to believe and rest in his presence. I am one of his, a sheep of his pasture:
I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so I will look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements. I will tend them in a good pasture and the mountain heights of Israel will be their good grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. Ezekiel 34:11-16
I was created for God’s good pleasure. My life was not my idea and the breath in my lungs and the very beat of my heart are by the design of the Holy One of Israel. He sustains and watches over me. He who has numbered and created the stars in the sky has numbered the hairs on my head. His perfect Son gave his life for mine.
So in this moment, I marvel at God’s goodness to me. I put away distractions, receive his goodness and love and enter into his Sabbath rest.