Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 5, 2009 Rest

READ: Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Something I didn't 'get' until just this moment is that we're being given an open window into Jesus' own life with his Father. I was sitting here about to write some thoughts and I saw the quote, "I thank you, Father..." Oh! what a great, deep breath we need to take and slow our hearts down before God. A large part of us wants to go diving into doing, doing, doing for God. But there's something that has to precede that: being with the Father.

I have to assume that the quote actually should end at the beginning of verse 27. We just get this tiny moment with Jesus and the Father. I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

Then the voice changes and Jesus is speaking to us about his relationship with God. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

The voice changes yet again. Jesus is speaking directly to us. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

There is the pattern for our devotional life vs. our interaction with the world. We must be in conversation with God before we can speak to the world about the conversation and then finally invite them into the conversation.

Don't wait another minute! Go to the Father right now and tell him what's going on. Then, and this is certainly contrary to the lie that is going around, TELL someone about your conversation with God. The lie is that religion is private. If so, how does anyone ever come to know Christ? And after you tell them about the conversation, invite them into the conversation with you. You'd be surprised at how many people really want to pray. They just haven't been given the opportunity.


Jon

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