Weekly Reflection (7th July 2020)
Good morning. It is good to be able to spend a short time with you this morning. I trust that the past week had been a good week of learning from our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, we are going to learn about how to find rest from our weariness.
The Opening Prayer
The night has passed and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind. As we rejoice in the gift of this new day and new week; so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Bible Reading this morning is from Matthew 11:28-30
28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Come, Take and Learn
I don’t know about you, but the ramifications of this Coronavirus are starting to weary me. Just as we though we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, we Victorians are waking up to news each day that get from bad to worse. I sense a weariness in many people – myself included. That is why yesterday’s gospel reading is so apt for us all.
Even if you are not wearied by the present pandemic, we all experience weariness in different ways and for different reasons. Our weariness is usually the result of cumulative, multilayered intersections of life’s complexities, physical shortcomings, emotional pains, and phycological stresses. Because our burdens are not simple, they are not relieved by simplistic platitudes like “She’ll be right, mate.”
But into our weariness Jesus gave a promise as simple, striking, and refreshing as we could possibly want. A promise that relieves our complex burdens. In this promise we can find rest for our inner most being. Isn’t it wonderful?
Listen to Jesus’ promise again:
28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
For this promise to work, Jesus said we must do two things:
1. Come to Jesus
Jesus doesn’t offer us a four-fold path to peace-giving enlightenment, like the Buddha did. He doesn’t give us five pillars of peace through submission as Islam does. Nor does he give us “10 Ways to Relieve Your Weariness,” which we pragmatic, self-help-oriented 21st century people are so drawn to. Unique to anyone else in human history, Jesus simply offers himself as the universal solution to all that burdens us. His simple solution to our weariness is audacious to say the least: “Come to me.”
Yet it works because of who He is. He is our Creator, the all-knowing, all-powerful and all-present, Lord of lords, King of kings and most of all, the eternal Word made flesh, our Saviour who loved us more than his own life.
What does “coming to Jesus” mean then? When we read the context of this promise Jesus’ meaning becomes clear. Jesus rebuked the cities and religious leaders who still refused to believe in him though they saw what he did and heard what he preached. When Jesus said, “come to me,” he meant, “believe in who I claim to be and therefore what I am able to do for you.” It means to have a personal relationship with Him as our Saviour and we his sheep.
Here is the test in our weariness and burdens. Will we believe Jesus enough to come to Him? It is not a method, or a plan, or an effort but a resting on him in an intimate and holy relationship. Putting our hands in his hand, our weight on his shoulders and resting our tired selves on his bosom.
“Come to me,” he says, “cast your anxieties on me for I care for you” (see 1 Peter 5:7). “Trust in me with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (see Proverbs 3:5-6), he says, “and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus only is our salvation, our fortress, our mighty rock, our refuge. He is the one answer to every question, concern, fear, and need we will ever have. And so, he simply and comprehensively offers himself to us. Only in him will we find rest for our souls.
For Jesus’ promise to work, We must also:
2. Take Jesus’ Yoke and Learn from Him
What? Is Jesus offering us rest or work? My weariness and life’s burden are already heavy enough, Lord. I don’t need to take on your work too.
A yoke is a wooden frame that has two arches that you put over two beasts of burden’s shoulders for them to do bear the burden of their work. The value of a yoke is that it halves the load. Without a yoke, one beast of burden bears the entire load by itself. But if you yoke the two beasts together, then they can share the load.
When Jesus says to take his yoke, he’s not saying that he’s going to give you his burdens. Jesus doesn’t have any burdens! He’s saying he’s going to share your burdens. He’s going to take your weariness and your load on himself and bear it with you.
Jesus says, “Team up with me. Then, learn how I do it. Take on a lighter load. This is going to reduce your stress. This is going to make it easier for you to navigate life’s burdens. When you are yoked with Christ, His strength, His love, His grace and His mercy, encompass your weariness and burdens.
Today. Jesus invites us:
He invites us to come to Him. He invites us to take his light yoke. He invites us to learn from him. He invites us to find rest for our souls
What will your answer be?
Let us Pray:
The Morning Collect
Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. May we rekindle the gift of God within us.
Thank you for sharing this time with me. Have a wonderful and blessed day living for our Lord Jesus Christ. Goodbye and see you next Monday. God bless you.