Weaving through numerous contemporary news reports and research articles is the repetitive trope that the majority of Americans feel exhausted and are on the brink of burnout. At the dawn of the technological age many relished in the idea that technology would eventually enable man to find greater time for leisure and rest. But, as children living in the midst of the hoped for technological society we have actually found that technological advancement has only exasperated the felt need to be always on, always available, and fully informed, leaving our leisure shallow and our rest superficial.
Many are exhausted by work, social expectations, the 24/7 news feed informing us of the impending doom of our civilization, desire to establish an idilic persona on social media, pressure to create a home or lifestyle portrayed by our favorite internet “influencer”, the need to prove ourselves to be on the right side of current cultural battles, or peer expectations to show ourselves to be sufficiently devoted to our chosen ideology. We carry these weights while also bearing the expectation of being perfect spouses, parents, citizens, and for some “good Christians”.
We live in an age in which we claim that you can “have it all”, but for most, what we “have” is weariness and the feeling that we are weighed down longing for a rest that we know we need but seems just beyond our grasp. Yet, in the midst of our exhausting hyper-modern world the ancient words of Jesus both pierce us and fill us with hope. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.”
If Jesus’ words are true, then the true rest we need, the rest longed for deep in our souls, is available. But, this rest does not simply come from perfectly following the latest self-care trend, a list of religious devotional activities, or a one month all expenses paid vacation (though I wouldn’t turn that down if it was offered). Instead, the rest we truly need is tied to coming to Jesus, being united to Him and learning from Him. It is a product of being fully rooted in Christ’s gospel by being continually reminded of the sufficiency and scope of the gospel and learning to live in a manner that reflects the reality that is already ours because of the gospel of grace.
One of the primary motivations for planting Redeemer is that we might cultivate a place in which all who are weary and carrying great burdens (whether from social expectations or past religious weights heaped upon you) might find the healing and true rest that comes from being saturated in the Gospel of Christ. Our prayer is that you might find the true rest that comes from Christ alone and that Redeemer might become a church that is a place that many others might find the rest that is already ours by grace through Christ.