Thought for the Day 23rd October 2018

Hello I am David Casey

Once again we find ourselves in the middle of a school half term holiday, and we find there are children who are delighted and parenst not so, we find who work in schools or have children at school for whom it is highly significant or those with little otr no connection to school for whom a week goes by and we hardly notice, except for less traffic on the roads.

Time always seems to be so pressured and people have either too much or too little and holidays take on special significance when we feel so pressured.

One friend of mine has been back at school where he has been teaching since September counting the days to this weeks holiday as it offers him a chance to get away to Spain, albeit briefly, getting away from the pressure.

Friends in business similarly find enormous pressure, as a business owner the pressure is on to ensure there is security for your staff, for those employed, however much they do a good job, the pressure is on to increase output and do more as a result we all live under great pressure, is it any wonder that we see so much illness, fatigue and break down?

Is all this this pressure a recent phenomenon? We could discuss the question at length and still fail to find the answer. However the message that Jesus brings us is that take on his burden and he will take care of our, in the bible we read;

28 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

Tired and worn out, Jesus says come to me, some may ask, “Are we burned out out by religion?’ Jesus says come to me.

Does our religion, whatever it might be, make such demands on us that it burns us out? For many they work so hard at their religion it becomes oppressive, demands become intolerably great and as a result it reinforces their failure and further erodes their self image.

Paul in a letter in our bible tells us, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

Grace is an interesting word, which simply means unmerited favour, and I reckon we can all do with some of that. It doesn’t matter what we think of ourselves we will probably never live up to our own expectations. It doesn’t matter what others think of us, we will certainly match up the the expectations of others. Let us look to Christ who knows us all better than we know ourselves and in spite of that he still says ‘come’ and reaches out to us.

Let us take time to reflect and be honest with ourselves. I one had a conversation with Noel Paul Stookey, otherwise known as Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary a folk trio of a few decades ago whom few under 60 will remember. He tells the story of a house he bought in the country and when he bought the house he planted some trees. Some years later he arrived home and said to his wife, “Where did that tree come from?” “What tree she replied, “the one by the gate” he said, to which she replied “Don’t you remember you planted it when we moved in?” He had been so busy over the intervening years rushing in and out of the house he hadn’t seen the tree grow. He is a man who knows and loved Jesus and he used the illustration of how any of us can get caught up in our own world we fail to really see and marvel at all that God is doing, and as Christians we can fail to recognise the wonderful gift God has given us in the full acceptance because of what was accomplished by Jesus for us despite everything we know about ourselves.

If you are rushing today, just try to stop, think of a God who knows all about you and wants to walk with you and will do so because he has given his son Jesus that it might be possible.tree

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