Monday, June 4, 2018
Matthew 11:29-30: [Jesus is saying,] "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
You could say, "Nothing is easy in life. It's all difficult. Just buckle down and get it done. Nobody's going to give you a free ride." You could also say, "Take what you can get. You are entitled to everything. It's all owed to you. Go, get out there and get what is rightfully yours."
These are two opposite points of view of life. Or so one might think. Really, they're two sides of the same coin. The two points have one thing in common. Both sides have a heavy burden, or yoke. The yoke is taking what you want. You can take what you want through hard work or you can take what you want from those who have worked for it. That yoke is heavy because it carries with it much pressure to succeed.
This point of view is at polar opposite of the Jesus point of view. Jesus is saying to us, "Look not to yourselves to take from life. I am freely giving life to you. I am giving you compassion, grace, mercy, life, forgiveness, and love just to name a few." Jesus is giving to you a yoke that is not a slave to self. Think about it. The yokes that we put on ourselves; career, stress, work, money, and the like, bring us down. The yoke that Jesus gave lifts us up. We put so much on ourselves, thinking that this is the way life is supposed to be. Life isn't supposed to be this way. Life is about trusting in Jesus and believing that He has taken those burdens and yokes away from us.
When we believe in what Jesus did; His life of perfect obedience to the will of God the Father, His brutal and horrific death that forgave our sins, and His glorious resurrection and gift of new life, He lifted the weight and pressure of life. We still have to work, make a living, support and care for ourselves and our families. We carry them and now they are light. They were made light by Jesus. Our focus on life is on forgiving, loving, showing compassion and being merciful because Jesus did that all for us. And as we focus on the yoke of Jesus, priorities line up. Love the Lord your God with all you have. God will take care of the rest. Love every one else with the love that God gave to you, and you will be surprised as to how you life will be "better." Trust God. He's got you covered. Dear God, lead me to trust You more and worry less, amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.