Every burden is not from God. 

4) Jesus is a model and a teacher who is gentle and humble at heart.

The invitation is from someone who is gentle and humble. The question is: “Do we want gentle or humble to teach us?” Or do we want powerful and arrogant to teach us? Do we desire meekness or swag? Ahhhh. Jesus has turned the tables on us. You see, in order to leave those burdens and that weariness behind, we have got to make a choice… And the first thing we have to choose is what kind of teacher do we truly want. You see we might be weary because we are chasing the powerful and the arrogant and the rich. We may be weary and heavy laden because we are looking to get our revenge on the one who hurt us. We may be weary and heavy laden because we truly don’t believe that gentleness and humility can really provide us rest.

Jesus’ yoke is forged in gentleness and humility. Jesus’ yoke is stamped with grace and mercy. Jesus’ yoke is filled with love and salvation. Jesus’ yoke is a yoke of goodness and justice. But the question is do we ultimately believe that gentleness and humility can provide us rest. I told you. Jesus is the “ultimate teacher” because he teaches us about what is ultimate. And if ultimately we believe that power and aggression is what provides rest, then we will never choose Jesus.

5) Jesus does not promise a burden free or yoke-free life. He promises that the burden will be light and the yoke is easy.

The gospel does not promise a bed of roses; and neither does the gospel promise a bed of thorns. The gospel promises that whether you are in roses or thorns, God is with you. There is no escaping the fact that life gives us burdens. To live is to be dependent upon and responsible for others. That is life. Jesus did not promise that we would be free from relationships, interdependency, and responsibility. We have loved ones, we have this world, we belong to faith communities, and we associate with groups that matter or that should matter to us. How will we approach our relationships? How do we approach our responsibilities? How do we approach that fact that we need each other to survive? The worst thing we could do is act as if our relationships don’t matter, that our responsibilities are not worth the trouble, and that we don’t need each other to survive. So Jesus doesn’t promise a carefree life. Jesus frees us to live lives of care and love.

But you must choose this day which yoke you will carry. You must choose this day which burdens to bear. You must choose this day who will be your teacher. And if you do not choose, someone is making the choice for you. I love Bob Dylan. And he has a song called “You Gotta Serve Somebody”… Even beyond the “devil” or the “Lord”, we will serve something. We will orient our lives around something. Those things that are ultimate to us–we will serve those things no matter who we are and where we are from. And we must choose.

Jesus doesn’t promise a carefree life. Jesus frees us to live lives of care and love.

Take it away, Dylan…

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks
You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

6) Jesus will provide you rest for your souls.

That’s good news. Jesus will provide you rest for your souls. Not just for your mind, your heart, or your body or spirit. But your soul. For ancient Jews, your soul was the entirety of your being. A restful soul has found peace. Doesn’t matter what’s going on around me, I’ve got peace. I’m at peace.  As I stated in my previous blogs, my grandfather, whose body was entering its last stages of life, whose emotional state was sad, still had peace. He still had rest. And he would tell you, that his hope and his trust was in the Lord. That is what peace is. Peace is not having it all together, but knowing that you serve a God that loves you so much that not even death can separate you from God. And that even passing away is all a part of the journey. I pray that one day I may have that kind of peace… Lord, help me to have that kind of peace.

7) Lay your burdens down.

Of my grandfather’s many songs he sang, he hummed no song like he hummed, “Glory Glory, Hallelujah, Since I’ve Laid My Burdens Down…” Somebody here has got some burdens that they need to lay down. Somebody here has got some pain they need to lay down. Somebody here has got some anger they need to lay down. Somebody here has been chasing the Jones’ for too long. Lay it down. Someone here has been told they weren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, reliable enough. Lay it down. God does not want those yokes and burdens on you. Lay it down.

Trust in Love, Hope for Love, Love Love

©2016 M. J. Sales

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