This is the time of year when things start to feel hectic. The holidays are approaching, full of good things. But those extra celebrations take extra time and energy, and we’re all still trying to keep our heads above water with our sometimes overwhelming day-to-day responsibilities. Sometimes it all feels like just too much. That’s because it probably is.
When Jesus walked the earth, He battled, among other things, the tyranny of legalism. He was consistently upset by the religious leaders’ oppression of the people by their unrealistic expectations. In Matthew 23:4, Jesus says, “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”
What is the heavy, cumbersome load on our shoulders today? I would guess that, if your family is anything like mine, it’s busyness. We have unrealistic expectations of what we (and others) should, and can, accomplish. And in our stressed-out state, we can hardly even enjoy the gifts from God that we are doing all this to celebrate! Might Jesus say something similar to us?
Jesus offers this invitation to all of us in Matthew 11:28-30: “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.”
I want to encourage us all to pare down not only our upcoming preparations and celebrations, but also our regular daily busyness. Jesus’ yoke is easy. His burden is light. Let’s not take on more than He has called us to, or we will miss the truly abundant life He has promised.
by Mike Sedgwick, HCS Board Member