This week we will continue to make our way through the middle of the Gospel of Matthew and focus on the demands of discipleship. I recommend that you read all of chapter 11—but let me warn you—it is pretty rough! It seems that Jesus needs a vacation. He “loses” it—and lets loose on those around him! It isn’t one of Jesus’ shining moments, is it? But he is probably burned out by endless demands that seem to be producing no results.
But then something surprising happens! Right after Jesus gives a glimpse of his own fatigue and frustration, he offers some of the most beloved words that any of us will ever hear! “Come to me, all who are weary and who are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Wow! Isn’t that beautiful? Here is a vacation invitation—freedom! Here is an invitation to Sabbath, a time of resting in God—in the deepest sense of the word. We probably know from experience that even in the most invigorated, spiritual life, there comes a day when the fire fades and our energy and enthusiasm ebb away. There comes a time to shut it down and turn it off and let it go. As you prepare for worship, think about what is making you tired and weary. What burdens are you carrying? How are you coping? Do Jesus’ words offer any help or relief? How can being a part of a faith community help us manage the burdens that we have? Can we help ease the burdens of others?