The church has just finished worship. They have received forgiveness, the sacrament, send by God's blessing and now it is time for announcements. The congregational president stands up to do his presidential duties: announcing what else needs to be done. Not only has VBS just ended, but now Sunday School begins. Then there must be more fund raising for the roof project, nominations for board positions, and a "dish to pass" for the next potluck. As each announcement flows from his mouth, you can see the people becoming less excited and a look of fatigue come across their face. "Can't we take a break?" the people lament, "We are so tired."
This is a typical scenario in the local American congregation. The saints of each church are worn out, at least the ones that take their baptismal faith serious. On top of receiving the gifts in worship and Bible study, we endlessly start new programs for all ages, fundraise just like the boy scouts, and clean up the building for hours all in the name of saving people. Often the work is tedious and very little of it is Biblical, Gospel motivated work. At the end of each year, we are tired.
Jesus gives us very basic instructions on how to be the church. He tells us to "come unto Him all who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest" for a reason. The life of the church should not be this hard. The Scriptures give us a simple formula for church: 1) Gospel preached, 2) Sacraments administered, 3) Serve our neighbor. Hmmm...sound at all familiar to you? Not likely.
May we scale down what we do for busy work in our churches and look to Him for rest. At the same time instead of the fund raising, programs, and meetings, let's get out and serve, serve, and serve. Maybe then people will begin to see fruits and not get tired so quickly.
Lord have mercy