God Rest Ye Weary Gentlemen

By Michael Agnew
By Zabdi Piña
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By John Hames
By Makenzie Romero
By Caroline Khameneh
By Victoria Renken
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Paul Leadabrand
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Justus George
By Lori Kuykendall
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Courtney Grimes
By Jessie Yearwood
By Jeff Black
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Sandhya Curran
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Alf Laukoter
By Neil Wiersum
By Jim Henry
By Erick Rodriguez
By Jenn Wright
By Kevin Harwood
By Nandi Roszhart
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Albán Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

What’s on your Christmas list this year? What, if anything, do you hope awaits you under the tree 18 days from now? Thirty years ago I was always asking for the biggest, loudest, some-assembly-required-est, batteries-not-included-est toys the North Pole and the Sears catalog had to offer. But that was a long time ago. This year my wish list includes a stainless-steel meat fork, that 800-page Alexander Hamilton biography, and a sensible cardigan. (Yes, I’m really this uninteresting.)

In this season called Advent, though, I find myself wondering if I’m really interested in what Jesus has to give.

Jesus, in his goodness and grace, doesn’t shop off my list or yours. He’s not a genie tasked with wish fulfillment, but rather God’s liberating king born to set people free. And so as Christmas approaches once again, he isn’t asking what you want. But he is inviting you to receive:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” — Matthew 11:28-30

When it comes to gifts, Jesus doesn’t give random anythings. In the Advent season, and in every season, Jesus wants to give us a particular something: rest.

Rest? Rest.

I haven’t been asking for rest, but that’s what’s on offer with the Son of God. Not a trinket to polish the face I show to the world. Not an array of pixels to distract me from mundanity and mortality. Not a quick fix for the shortcomings I can’t seem to overcome. Not a life hack to solve the loneliness that’s sewn into the human condition. But rest.

The Word made flesh, the image of the invisible God, gives rest to the weary and burdened. Thank God.

Thank God because this is good news for those of us who can let go of our striving. This is good news for those of us who are willing to drop the illusion of self-sufficiency. This is good news for those of us who have reckoned with our unshakeable frailty on those suffocating mornings when we’re not sure we can get out of bed or those empty nights when everyone else in the house has long since gone to sleep.

It’s ok to be weary and burdened in the season of Advent because Jesus came for the lot of us, and he declared so long ago that he will give us rest in abundance. His rest is water for desert hearts. His rest is strength for souls long since hollowed by sin and shame. His rest is a gift, and you are invited to come to him and drink deep. 

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