“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30 CEB)
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t carry burdens. Some carry such a heavy load that I wonder how and even why they get out of bed in the morning. As I reread Matthew 11 I’m reminded of the reason. They understand that in our society where individualism is honored, they can’t go it alone. They need to be in that yoke with Jesus in order for their world to make any kind of sense.
Our denomination has completed another General Assembly meeting. From across the country delegates prepared for the meeting, studying the overtures and entering into prayer and discernment. When they arrived in Detroit, they listened. And then they voted on recommendations that will now return to the Presbyteries for final vote, up or down.
I trust that these delegates took these issues seriously. More than that I believe that the Holy Spirit was at work. While we wait for the dust to settle, many are unsettled. Every two years we meet and every two years I wait and worry and pray.
In reading Matthew 11 this week, I realize that my worry is the burden I carry. And just when I think I’ve submitted all to Jesus, I realize that I’m holding back.
Jesus calls us to a different life; a counter-cultural life. It’s a life filled with joy that makes sense to me. What I’ve missed, though, is the part of this life of faith that calls me into the yoke to study and discern the hard stuff.
And there’s plenty of difficult issues to go around: sexuality, end of life issues, stewardship of money, abortion, capital punishment, to name a few. I’ve been so focused on the bickering and squabbling from our nations’ capital to our state capital to my local community that I’ve forgotten about the yoke.
So, I’ve decided not to go it alone. I’m getting back in the yoke and allowing Jesus to challenge me to dig deeper into these issues. My understanding needs to include what others have to say, including how they have prayerfully come to a point of view that differs from mine.
I’ve invited folks to join with me in this study. I pray that we’ll journey together. But, I’m back in the yoke and Jesus will be the guide.
All glory and honor be to God.