I know many of us are looking forward to our upcoming three-day weekend. Labor Day weekend is a special time for family and friends to get together each year. I likewise know many of us are excited to cheer on our favorite teams as college football returns in full swing this Saturday. Others are beginning to count down the days to Fall, and some early birds will even pull out the pumpkins and Fall décor this weekend. But I hope amidst all of these things, each of us will take some time to slow down and find rest. Backyard BBQs and good company certainly can aid in that process, but Jesus reminds us that he alone is the source of our rest.
Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). All of us are laboring in some capacity right now. Yes, some of us are laboring at work and carrying heavy burdens in our careers. But many of us are also laboring in the home. We are carrying relational burdens within our marriages. Many of us are also burdened for our children and grandchildren. And lots of us feel exhausted because those are heavy loads to carry by ourselves.
This is why we have been focusing on Ephesians chapters 4 to 6 these past several weeks in our sermon series. Jesus wants you to find peace in your home, but as we have seen, that is only possible if we build our homes his way. This weekend we’re going to shift our focus to Ephesians chapter 6 and tackle the important topic of parenting. I’m confident every parent and grandparent could use some more rest in their lives. Parenting is indeed hard work, but fortunately we don’t have to toil all by ourselves. Jesus wants to guide you in your home and equip you to lead the next generation in a way that will bring you joy.
But I also want you to know that ABC desires to come alongside you in this parenting journey. That is why we invest so heavily into our ABC Kids and Student ministries. We have wonderful staff, volunteers, and resources that are devoted to helping you bring up your children in Christian nurture. This is why we have adult BFG classes that meet every Sunday. We want parents to lock arms with one another and begin to do life together. It is much easier to labor when you have other parents laboring beside you. This is also why we emphasize multi-generational ministry at ABC. We have devoted church members in all seasons of life, and many have walked the paths of parenthood and want to come alongside you in your journey.
My question for you to consider is, “are you parenting all alone?” As we have already seen in Genesis 2, “it is not good for man to be alone.” God wants to give you all the strength you need, and having a church family is a critical piece of that solution. We want to be a resource to you, and that is why for instance we are providing a free parenting seminar this Wednesday at 6:30pm. We’re hosting a licensed family counselor from the Timothy Center to lead an important seminar focused on parenting kids in a world filled with technology. I hope you are blessed and encouraged by this special ministry opportunity this week.
Above all, I do hope you find rest today. This coming weekend may be focused on rest, but Jesus can give that to you right now. If you are in town this weekend, I encourage you to join us at 9am or 11:11am. Invite a family to come with you as we look to this sacred calling of parenting. Don’t forget to wear your favorite college jersey or team colors to church, and come prayed up for a special Labor Day weekend at ABC.
Onward and upward,