What feelings do you typically get when you walk into church? Stop and think about that for a little bit. Do you feel at peace, or anxious? Are you content, or restless? Do you feel welcomed, or like a stranger? Are you resting, or stressing?
In David’s old age, he called all his officers to introduce to them the next king of Israel. The most important item on the agenda was David’s lifelong dream—building a Temple for the Most High God.
Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building.”
1 Chronicles 28:2
Notice that David called the Temple “a house of rest.” This was probably for two reasons. First, the tabernacle, along with its central object, the Ark of the Covenant, had moved from place to place, and David wanted it to rest. Second, the Temple was to be a place where people could find rest. Just as the Sabbath was a day created for rest and worship, so the Sanctuary was a place created for rest and worship.
Today, we don’t go to a central temple to worship as the Israelites did, but our churches and gathering places ought to be houses of rest. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul told the local Christian church,
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Friends, we as a church are called to be a temple of rest. So I go back to the beginning question: what do you feel when you walk into church? Do you feel at rest? If not, then you’re probably not the only one. What can you do to help others feel at rest on Sabbath? The Sabbath is a day created for rest, and the most restful part of Sabbath ought to be gathering with the “Temple”—God’s people. Instead of focusing on your feelings, why don’t you try your best to make the Sabbath a day of rest for the people around you? In helping others find rest, you too will find the perfect peace God so wants you to have—that perfect rest found only in Christ alone
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
–Jesus, in Matthew 11:28
Timmy Baze 😀
Scripture portions used in this devotional were taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.