Greetings everyone. Last week I had different plans for what the Wanderings would be, but it fell through. Instead, the Wandering reflections for last Sunday's sermon actually comes today.
If you recall, last week (July 6, 2008) we read from Matthew 11:16-28. This was a rich Scripture that prompted not one, but three very separate sermons. The first written sermon was very prophetic. The second very community based. The third sermon was very pastoral, and that was the one preached.
Will the other two sermons see the light of day? Perhaps, perhaps not.
But I am glad that it was the pastoral sermon that was preached, for it is a message I myself have needed to hear and utilize.
Last Sunday's sermon focused on 11:28-30. There is where Jesus says “Come to me, all of you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in my heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I devoted the rest of the sermon to what a yoke is, and how it allows two beings to work together to face a difficult task and to make a heavy load feel lighter. I also said that when things get too tough, we can bow our heads before Jesus and invite him to place his yoke upon us so together we can share the burden.
I have found myself doing that very thing in the past few days. In fact, this morning, before facing what was going to be a very busy day, I felt that I had no choice but to say these words. And Jesus did indeed place his yoke upon me, and the burden did feel lighter.
But something else happened. The yoke was not just my own, or my own issues. But I came to realize that in sharing the yoke, I was also asked to share the yoke of Jesus and the yoke of others. That yoke has taken me to places today that I could never have foreseen. That yoke took me out of my space, out of my comfort zone, and into other fields that I have not been before.
But the promise of Christ still rang true: the yoke was easy and light. Somehow in sharing those yokes, the strength, the words, the actions that needed to be done were there. And though the yokes were full of sadness and struggle, they have also been a sense of joy.
So I myself have learned a new thing this day: that when we invite Jesus to become part of our own daily struggles, Jesus is also inviting us to be a part of the daily lives of others as well. And in that process we become united in a shared yoke, making the burden a bit more tolerable, helping to shine brighter Jesus' light.
I pray you have had a blessed week so far. And I look forward to seeing as many of your shining faces this Sunday at Lamar Park. Remember worship is at 10:10 followed by a potluck and music from the Swingtones.
Peace, Pastor G