Resting or Restless?

By Not Known

people sometimes have a passive idea of what it is to be a Christian. Thus faith is seen as a static resting on Christ for salvation and then just plain resting. likewise, baptism can be seen as the end of a journey, rather than a mid-point on a journey that ends with our death.

The bible shows us active followers of Jesus. Mary went on to follow her Son from the cradle to the Cross and the shepherds spread word about that they had seen. It was likewise in the adult ministry of Jesus. His characteristic message was to announce the coming of the kingdom and to call people to follow him. Lives changed as the fisherman left their nets and Matthew left his revenue table (e.g. Mat 4: 18-20; 9:9). Their following was active.

This pattern continued after the ascension – and it was intensified as the energising and equipping ministry of the Holy Spirit empowered believers and thrust them into being restless for Christ. Baptism was a ticket to a Christ-centred activism of learning all they could. They met for prayer, fellowship and worship; and bustled about in community involvement (e.g. Acts 2:38-47). The chosen people were not the frozen people, but were hot for Jesus.

There are challenges for all of us here.

Today’s new members will pledge themselves: … to server faithfully the Church and society, that God’s holy name may be glorified in me. In keeping with this they have all been presented with opportunities and challenges of service within our various ministries and many of them are already active.

What about those of us who have been Christians for longer periods? Are we resting or are we restlessly active to server Christ, his church and his world? These is no shortage of places where all of us can used the God-given abilities that have been developed and matured.

A tired leader recently asked when the busyness of ministry will end. The answer is simple: when the Lord returns to us or we return to him. Thus John Piper prays Lord, spare me this curse with respect to ‘retirement’ from Christian service. He also tells how the first Christian missionary to the Islamic world was a monk in his mid-80s!

Let us indeed rest on Christ in saving faith and let us take those moments of restfulness in him that we need to catch our breath and replenish our souls. But let us also resolve to be restless for him whenever we draw breath.

David Burke