I suppose I'm especially attentive to the idea of "rest" because I'm looking forward to tomorrow's holiday; I'm looking forward to spending the day poolside, with good food and friends.
So, I'm drawn to the last verses in this week's reading from Matthew:
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I'm struck by how oxymoronic (is that a proper word?) this sounds: take my yoke and find rest. Pick up my work and be refreshed.
I think it's not by chance that Jesus uses the language of hard, physical labor in his invitation. This is not a message for the elite, but for the laborers in our midst. (Or, at least, its an invitation for all of us to become laborers.)
An invitation to take up a new way of living and working and naming what's important to us--a way that is, somehow, life giving even as it requires we give our whole selves.
What an incredible sort of work to be involved in: one that gives life.
Perhaps that's one reason we gather in church--to help each other keep our lives focused on that work.