“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I read this passage to my congregation yesterday, surely some of the most sublime words ever to pass Jesus’ lips. But instead of my talking and talking about those beautiful words, explaining what they “meant,” I simply asked people to commit those two phrases to memory.
We repeated those words over and over until they became a kind of mantra, pulling us out of fear and anxiety and worry, into the peace of Christ.
We spent a little time naming our burdens, the yokes that weigh upon us as if we were a working ox. The financial burdens, the physical burdens, the emotional burdens—of weariness, grief or guilt.
Everyone carries a load. In some seasons of life the burdens seem sure to break us and at other times they nearly disappear, but everyone labors under some weight. God invites us to give up our heavy burdens and find rest for our souls. Giving our burdens to the Lord doesn’t mean that we will live without trouble or suffering. It means only that when we are heavy laden we don’t have to carry our burdens alone. There is Someone who can carry them for us, Someone who is stronger than we are and who will not be broken by the load.
When we had named our burdens, we closed our eyes, imagined that the One who was saying, “Come to me” was standing before us with beckoning arms outstretched, and we were walking toward him with the heavy burden in our hands, and giving it to him. Then we all said together, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Caroline Oakes says
Thank you, David.
What a gift! David, this was one of those sermons that really hit home. My load feels lighter, already. Thank you.
Michael Anderson says
I like what you did with Jesus’ saying: you had them memorize it. There’s nothing like committing a mantra to memory–it means you can take it with you everywhere you go. Thanks, David. As my mom used to say: “Thy word have I hid in my heart…”
Susie Middleton says
perfect. this is what it is all about!
Michele Bunn says
I love this David – especially the mantra part! I don’t have too much trouble giving over my burden, but then I pick it back up again – thinking that I have to take charge – Jesus must be too busy for my load. I’ll visualize from now on. Thanks!
Johnny Earles says
Your post is very comforting. We just got Deb’s dad home from the hospital yesterday and juggling Deb’s mom.
I shared with Deb – just took her first break since Friday.
Romans “if God is for us, who can be against us?” My burden lightens immediately knowing I don’t have to go through it alone, but as was said above, I have to remember the “burden lightener” is always there just waiting for me to ask.
Ginny Lovas says
Thank you David – I am sorry that I missed the Service. I will share this with my sister-in-law who has had too many burden’s in her life when I visit her tomorrow.