“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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” (Matthew 11:28-30).
The holidays, for most of us, can be pretty busy times. This year has surely been crazier and busier than any other many of us have experienced. Many people in the U.S. are now working remotely and, if you are like me, you are working more, feeling exhausted, and more stressed out than usual. A recent survey by Chubb indicated that U.S. workers are working at least two hours more each week, if not more. If we add the distance-learning struggles that teachers and students around the nation are experiencing, the word busy couldn’t be more appropriate to describe our lives.
This new “busyness” has some nasty consequences; an unholy triad of exhaustion, distraction, and disconnection. Am I the only one whose eyes are weary of looking at screens all day, or who can’t stop thinking about all the emails waiting for me the next time I open my laptop, or feels more disconnected from others, even though I have more likes or heart emojis on my social media accounts? Is there an answer to our situation? Yes, it’s Jesus!
Advent reminds us that the busyness we are experiencing is not the final word but there is a way beyond busyness to hope, the hope of Jesus. Advent beckons us to slow down and refocus our minds and hearts, not on another task or deadline, but on the person of Jesus. When we focus on Jesus, everything changes because Jesus is wonderful, mighty, everlasting, and the Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). In fact, Jesus asks us to give Him our stress and busyness and He promises to give us His rest, peace, and presence in return.
If you’re like me, feeling stressed out by the busyness of the Christmas season, why don’t we take Jesus up on His offer? Let’s remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Take time to pause and enjoy some quality time with others, and spend time in His presence to receive the strength, hope, and peace we need.