"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
At this time of year, my body, mind and spirit are shouting to me, "I need a vacation."
Like most pastors, our schedules get overwhelming. Along with the normal day-to-day activities, I am writing daily encouraging emails to my congregation; meeting with staff and ministry leaders; researching weekly messages; representing Celebration Community Church at public functions; making hospital visits; attending funerals; leading Bible studies; counseling pre-marrieds; counseling troubled marrieds; counseling "extra grace required" people with hurts, hang-ups and habits; encouraging discouraged ministry leaders; reconnecting drifting members; listening to the beefs of disgruntled members; getting ready for board and budget meetings; and writing or voicing materials for radio, TV and newspapers such as ONE and the Faith page you are reading now.
On top of all that, since September, there have been numerous special projects such as hosting fundraising golf tournaments, serving as FHSU basketball team chaplain and helping coordinate the more than 200 volunteers for the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance Thanksgiving Day Feast activities, which served more than 350 people on Thanksgiving Day and beyond.
Our church set a lofty goal of delivering 600 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to needy kids around the world (750 have been collected already). Immediately after that, our church hosted our ninth annual Mission Auction in which we raised the astonishing amount of $52,000 (all of it to be given away to need-meeting organizations, ministries and missions this year).
Add to that distributing to area schools $4,000 in gift cards for needy kids on behalf of ECMA, and this has been an especially busy time, and the Christmas season is just beginning. I am feeling weary.
I don't think I am alone in feeling this sense of being tired and burdened at this time of year. You too might be feeling that way as well. If so, take the time to read and heed these words of Jesus.
"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
In Christ and Christ alone is where we find the rest and peace we need so much.
Have a restful and peaceful Christmas season.
Kyle Ermoian is the lead pastor at Celebration Community Church.