LHM Advent Devotion – December 6, 2014 “Those Rest Stops Along the Way”

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Those Rest Stops Along the Way”

December 6, 2014

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Read Matthew 21:8-11.
The crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” Matthew 21:9A

Rest Areas: they must have seemed like paradise to my parents; they certainly were for us. They were a welcome opportunity to get out of the crowded car, stretch our legs, run around a little bit, and go to the bathroom.

But on second thought I have to take that back. I’m a grown man now. I’ll admit at certain times on long trips rest areas are very welcome. But most times they are unwanted interruptions that do nothing but draw out a trip that’s too long already! I find myself thinking of the progress we’ve lost — the distance we could have covered if we had just stayed on the road.

That’s how stopping for church services can seem, especially at this busy time of the year. We have so much to accomplish every weekend and so little time to do it. Can we really afford to stop and take the time to get ready and go to church?

Jesus thought so. The works He was doing were far more important than the things that occupy our time. Yet He did not neglect worship in the house of God. He knew life’s journey can consume us if we don’t take time to rest, let God restore us, and be reminded of the final destination at the end of life’s road.

He also wants to remind us we aren’t travelling alone. Rest areas remind us of that fact too. The road is filled with people just like us, each trying to reach his or her destination. Your church is your rest area. It’s an important place for you to stop and get a little rest, get your mind off the difficulties of the journey, and refocus on the end of the journey. The end of the journey is an eternity of peace, joy, and wonder awaiting you. Weekly worship is a place and time for you to gather with your fellow travelers — your brothers and sisters in Christ-and encourage one another as you blend your praises for the Savior who has won your home for you.

Churches, like rest areas, are interesting places. Some travelers are weary when they enter; others are fresh and excited. Some are eager to get back on the road again; others don’t mind taking some time away from it. Some dread the idea of piling back into the car and hitting the road. It’s important to remember a rest area isn’t home and neither is church. It’s simply a place to pause and refresh on the way to our true home.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know I need times of rest just like all people. Thank You for providing Your Church as a true rest area. Refresh my heart and mind this weekend, so I may be restored and renewed for the journey that lies ahead. Amen.

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