There’s a wonderful book by Nicholas Allen called Jesus’ Day Off – which I used to read to my kids. But which I wholeheartedly recommend to all ages.
In the book – which is beautifully illustrated - we are introduced to Jesus and his twelve friends and we see the amazing miracles he does, the marvellous stories he tells and how hard Jesus works to help people.
But then it says, ‘One day Jesus woke up exhausted.’ And that day the miracles didn’t go so well, nor the stories.
So Jesus goes to the doctor and the doctor says, ‘Take the day off, Jesus. Relax. Enjoy yourself.’
So Jesus tells his friends what the doctor has said and goes out for a walk. It’s a lovely day. And he turns cartwheels in the sand. He plays catch with his halo. He has a picnic (maybe five loaves and two fishes?) He has a swim. And finally a donkey ride (maybe on that donkey?)
He has a wonderful day. But, at the end of it, he sits down and feels sad. It seems to him that the day has been wasted - because he has helped no one.
Eventually he decides to tell his dad about what has happened and how he feels. He loves and he trusts his dad.
So he goes up a mountain and prays. And God says, When people saw you really enjoying yourself, this made them feel joyful too. And it’s only when you feel better yourself that you can make others feel better too.
So Jesus recognises that God is right. He says thank you and then he goes home to see his friends. Who are happy to see him looking so well. And they all eat together and go to bed.
And the next morning Jesus wakes up feeling very glad that he took a rest. Because he has ‘a funny feeling there was a lot more good work to be done.’
And that’s the end of the story.
So, need I say more?
We all need to take a rest, to have a break, to have a holiday – once in a while. When we are rested and we have been refreshed by the things and people that energise us and restore us, then – and only then – can we bring rest and refreshment to others.
There is, in our world, a lot of good work that needs to be done. So make sure you take your day off – as Jesus did in this wonderful story!