On July 5, I preached on Matthew 11:16-30 (you can watch here: 20 July 5 Sunday Worship Service), I’d like to say a little bit more particularly about vs. 28-30.
“Come to me, all 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 heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In a conversation this past week I shared with a friend that had I known how long COVID-19 would keep churches from gathering, I would have framed our time apart as an intentional sabbatical or an extended sabbath because I think we are all feeling a bit weary and carrying around some burdens and we need rest.
But it occurs to me, if I take an honest long view, it isn’t too late. The truth is something is different when we make a choice vs. feeling forced. Taking a stay-cation feels different than being trapped at home after a surgery. Sabbath rest is similar.
Perhaps you can recall a time in your life when there were certain things you couldn’t do on Sundays. Maybe you couldn’t go play, or shop, or visit your friends. It almost feels like Sunday sabbath could be mistaken for a COVID-quarantine.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll unpack sabbath a bit more. For today, consider re-framing the losses you feel and the ways you feel forced to do or not do something. Even if the result is the same, can you re-frame it as a choice. “I am choosing to stay home” vs. “I have to stay home.” Making a choice feels less burdensome. And once we make a choice we can find rest in the choice.
All of us have a million choices to make and they can all feel hard. Don’t forget that the yoke Jesus invites to take on–that he’s on the other side, walking with us.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Mike