[take a deep breath]

Fourteen months ago, the world stopped. Jobs moved online. Sports leagues cancelled their seasons. Musicians cancelled their performances. Restaurants shut down. Life paused and Netflix played. For the first time, most of experienced what it was like to truly stop, slow down, and take life one day at a time. 

We were created to have rhythms of rest, and we know this because we see examples of these rhythms throughout scripture. In Genesis, sabbath rest is described as a time to stop, rest, and worship the Lord. The Ten Commandments use imagery from Genesis 2 to prescribe rest on the seventh day of each week. In Matthew 12, Jesus declares himself the Lord of the Sabbath. This is a reference to divinity, but it also gives us confidence that he will point us to the true meaning of sabbath rest. God wants rest as part of our lives. 

Maybe you’ve had more time for family, time to watch movies with roommates, time to pray and study Scripture. But after a year of quarantine, mask mandates, vaccine reports, and social media outbursts, you probably don’t feel rested. And Covid-19 is just one of many important topics that gripped our attention in the last year. The reality is, although everything stopped in our lives, most of us didn’t get much time to rest. Anxieties about daily life continued; How are my kids going to learn? What does this mean for my job? How am I going to pay bills? On top of that new fears and frustrations abounded; What about my elderly relatives? Why are there so many mixed messages? Why can’t I do that?

[take a deep breath]

As we head into the summer, we are excited to gather together for gospel proclamation and praise. We are excited to see old friends and meet new ones just moving to Phoenix. We are excited to seek out opportunities to serve in our city and share the love of Jesus in word and deed. And… we are excited to rest.

As Christians, everything we do, we should do unto the Lord: we should work hard, serve others, share the gospel, clothe the naked, feed the hungry… but we should also rest well. It’s in times of stillness, times of solitude, times of silence, times of rest, that God reveals things to us. In these moments, we encounter subtle stirrings from the Holy Spirit, new clarity for decisions ahead, conviction of sin, and gracious encouragement.

We’ve asked our Community Group leaders to focus on ways to incorporate this rest into all of our groups. We’re praying for the Birdwells’ sabbatical and that their summer would be filled with rest. As you finalize plans for the summer, be sure to prioritize time to rest.

[take a deep breath]

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 

– Genesis 2:2-3 ESV


Check out our Spotify Playlist “PBC | Psalms” and continue in a mindset of rest.