Wayne A. Strohschein, Pastor How many of you get tired? I don’t mean just sleepy as you near your bedtime but a tiredness that a night of sleep doesn’t take care of, a tiredness makes you feel like a worn-out battery. You need to be recharged. There are many things that can make us feel that way. There may be health problems, or emotional burdens we are carrying; worrying can do it; the demands people put on us or that we put on ourselves can do it. There are many causes of being deeply tired. Even those working in the church are not immune to getting really tired. Churches burn out volunteers and they burn out pastors. Discipleship is certainly not easy. When we think of being a disciple of Jesus and all the demands that it would put on us and we may feel tired just thinking about it. That is why we need to hear and practice what we have in this one final text of Matthew’s picture of what discipleship means in Matthew 11: 28-30 “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.” Rest is certainly a gift we need. It doesn’t make any difference who you are, we all get weary, tired and worn. We are challenged to follow Jesus in learning to rest as much as we are challenged to follow Him in every other dimension of life. Jesus not only promised rest, but he practiced rest. Jesus rested often. It was a part of the natural ebb and flow of His life. There were times when Jesus was not healing, teaching, or counseling, but resting. Sometimes when we are resting we think we are not accomplishing anything, but maybe that is not the case. Rest gives us the ability to better handle those times when suddenly, without a moment’s notice we can be hit by the unexpected. One of the great hidden benefits of rest is that if rested we can better withstand the surprising blows of life. To ensure that you will have the rest you need learn to rest when you’re not even tired. You don’t even have to sleep to rest. Just withdraw from the chaos of life for a time. This can be done by meditating, praying, listening to music, practicing relaxation techniques or simply being still putting yourself in your quiet place. In these ways, we can build up an energy reserve. A second benefit of rest is that we add to our energy reserves rather than continue to deplete ourselves. Rest is the best friend of achievement. A third benefit of rest is better decision making. Fatigue can make decision making too difficult to do. Decision making takes energy. Resting can restore your mental and spiritual energy. It helps us to make decisions with clarity and confidence. Today’s text does indeed offer us a gift. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Council will meet today immediately following worship. Naomi Circle will meet Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. for the regular meeting and Bible study. Sunday school is at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by worship at 10:45 a.m., then potluck. Today’s lector is Laura Wittorff; next Sunday’s lector is Lesa Berger.