“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NIV84)
Have you ever seen Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs chart? It is a visual representation of what Abraham Maslow described as “human motivation.” It describes the things in life that drive us. At the bottom are the most basic needs like food, water, shelter, safety. But once we get past the two bottom layers of survival basics, our needs become psychological and self-fulfilling.
In other words, it is a colorful depiction of sin: the continuous desire to meet our own, selfish needs…to find out who we are…to discover if we matter. The latter is a question asked by every human who has ever contemplated a starry sky at night: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3–4, NIV84)
Who am I? Do I matter? Why am I here?
Climbing Maslow’s pyramid is a wearisome journey. I think, in a sense, that was what Jesus was talking about when he promised us “rest.” When we come to him, we can begin really living. We can live for something bigger than ourselves. We can live for the betterment of others. We can strive for great, eternal things rather than “self-actualization.”
One of my favorite Christmas songs says: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…”
The Savior has come! Come to save the world from sin…come to save me from myself… and give me rest in him! ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” (Matthew 11:28–29, The Message)
Join us Sunday as we talk about the unforced rhythms of God’s grace in our Christmas sermon series, “A Weary World Rejoices.”