Rest Up!

We’re a little over a week into the New Year… So how are things going? Are you accomplishing the goals you set? Are you still resolved to make some kind of change in your life?

People make all sorts of resolutions with the New Year. Some try to exercise more. Others make an effort to change a habit they’re not too fond of... But in this dog eat dog world, how many of us have thought to begin a New Year by resting more?

In Matthew chapter 11 Jesus says Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

The picture is that of two animals yoked together to pull a load. I’ve been told that a young animal won’t know what to do when first placed into a yoke with a more experienced one. So much so that the presence of the rookie can actually make the job of the more experienced animal MORE difficult, because the veteran actually has to pull the burden AND drag the rookie along with it.

When Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” he’s not asking you to carry a heavy load as if that will somehow ease the burden you’re already carrying. No, he’s inviting you to yoke yourself next to him so he can help bear your burdens! Sure, at some point the young animal learns from the experienced one and learns how to bear some of the burden on its own. But the fact remains, YOU’RE NOT ALONE! Who better to be yoked to than Jesus! Your Savior God!

Christianity is not a religion of rules meant to impose on our freedom—it doesn’t call us to endlessly work for God’s favor—it doesn’t leave us to work things out on our own. No, it frees us from the burden of carrying our own sin and replaces the burden of our sin with the peace of forgiveness in Jesus! It connects us to Jesus that we might learn from him. It gives us the rest our weary souls so desperately need because it shows us that the troubles of this earth are temporary and will soon be replaced with the joys of heaven!

If you’re looking for more of that rest, join us for Bible study and worship at Living Shepherd! It’s an opportunity to hear the Word of our God—to be reminded that we are imperfect people who need the free forgiveness our God has provided for us. And what better way to do that than to gather with other human beings who are just like us—imperfect and struggling.

Join us at Living Shepherd on Sunday mornings! It will be one hour every week when you know you’ll have the rest you need, and when you’ll know you’re not alone.

Blessings on the rest of your week!

Pastor Z.