Boxing Day Rest
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.
- Luke 2:29-32
December 26th is a day that’s known around the world as “Boxing Day.” The day gets its name from the tradition of masters giving their servants the day off to celebrate a belated Christmas with their families and sending them home with a heaping box of leftovers from the master’s own Christmas celebration.
Today’s passage comes from the Nunc Dimmitis, a song sung by Simeon upon meeting the Christ child. Simeon’s song captures the peaceful rest of a servant who has served a good master and seen his good master accomplish wonderful things. Something in Simeon breathes a sigh of relief upon meeting Jesus. The salvation that he has longed for, worked for, suffered for, waited for … that salvation is at hand. All is good. He can rest.
Rest. Rest. The weary world rejoices. Maybe today, the day after Christmas, you feel your need for rest. The holidays can be stressful for many of us. Rest. Maybe you’ve been working your fingers to the bone to see God’s kingdom come in your community, in your workplace, in your family, or in your church. Perhaps there have been days when it has seemed like there would be no end to the work. The weariness threatens to overwhelm you.
But Christ has come into this world. He’s present here. He’s working. He has come to ease our burdens, to set us free, to give us rest. In Christ we receive God’s very best – not Boxing Day leftovers – but the centerpiece of the Christmas celebration: God present with us.
How can you embrace God’s invitation to rest this week?