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Rest with Christ

We often go through weary, stressful, and anxious times. God beckons us to come to sit with Him and learn from Him. God wants for us to tell Him our troubles, our joys, to ask for His guidance and help, and He wants to love us.

Following is a poem by Lori Colbo I found when I was going through some real buffeting times and feeling frazzled and weary.

Come Rest with Me by the River

Your road’s been growing steeper,

Clamors of life, how they roar.

Abide with Me, beloved,

Where my pleasures are forevermore.

Come rest with Me by the river

Where refreshing water flows

See how lovely is our trysting place,

Where your heart will find repose.

Let’s recline on verdant banks,

Under shaded copse of trees.

Sup with me on bread and wine,

While we whisper in the breeze.

What sweet delight our friendship,

O the fragrance of our love,

Suffusing life with gladness,

Rich blessings from above.

Rest safe upon my bosom,

Kiss the scars upon My hands,

Enter into My holy place.

This poem, I feel captures the intimacy, mutual delight, relaxation, and the unburdening of the weight of cares we carry around as opposed to rushing through things and dutiful in our burdens. In the very beginning Jesus recognizes how the world and all its demands and clamor can roar so loud we can't hear Him calling, and we are stressed and weary.

Jesus calls us to come rest in Him:

“Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of 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.” Matthew 11:28-30

This passage in context, is a response to the burdensome laws the religious leaders of Jesus day laid on the people. There was no relationship with God, it was a relationship with the law. The Pharisees came up with six hundred types of work that could not be done on the Sabbath. Add to that all the other nit-picky laws they added for everything under the sun. The Pharisees weighed the people down by harsh demands to conform to the letter of every law. They showed no mercy. And the people felt defeated.

The word "yoke" Jesus uses brings to mind the yoke that two oxen wear which allows for one ox to help bear the burden of the other.

“My yoke" here means "the service of God as I teach it" (the common interpretation, "the sorrows that I bear," is utterly irrelevant) and the emphasis is on "my." The contrast is not between "yoke" and "no yoke," but between "my teaching" (light yoke) and "the current scribal teaching'; (heavy yoke).

The word "burden" can be likened to freight. It carries the idea of an individual bearing that freight on their own. The word "easy" means kind and useful or well fitted.

So, we could re-word the passage to say "Come unto Me, you who are weary and carrying the demands of the law on your own as heavy freight, and I will give you rest. Take the service of God as I teach it, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and I will give you rest and refreshment for your souls. For my teaching is kind and useful."

Of course, this re-wording is not as poetic sounding as the actual text, but it sure puts it in perspective. So as part of our relationship and fellowship with Christ, we are to cease striving, to be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

I will look forward to having you join us for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, July 18, 2021 on Sunday at 8 AM or 10:30 AM in church or streaming online at 10:30 AM. See the downloaded service for Sunday on a prior post. Many blessings for a wonderful week-end. Fr. Bill+



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