"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, my burden light."
Do you know what a "yoke" is? I didn't know exactly until today. An example of a yoke can be seen in the image on this page. A yoke is a frame set on someone's shoulders so that they can carry a load; often times you'll see them being used on oxen or other animals.
So why did Jesus mention "yoke" when he talked to the people of the towns he visited? If Jesus is the Son of God, can't he take away completely any "yoke" that burdens our shoulders?
The answer is, yes. He could. With God, anything is possible. However, in this life, we each have our own burdens to carry. Even Jesus (...especially Jesus) had a burden to carry. But in this passage, Jesus invites us to share our burdens with him. Jesus wants us to GIVE our burdens to him! "What a good gift to give Jesus," you're thinking, right!? That's exactly what we want to give the One who died for the salvation of the world...NOT! But this is the interesting thing, and Jesus is very interesting, unpredictable, against the grain. The curious thing is that Jesus wants our own burdens to not be our own. If they remain as things we think we can handle or control on our own, they will soon consume us, and hurt us. They will soon lead us towards death, not life.
Instead, Jesus invites us to make an exchange with him. If we offer him all our burdens, (in fact our whole lives,) he will give us peace beyond all understanding. However, in my own faith walk, I've realized that this isn't just a one time deal. We have to continually offer Jesus our burdens, offer him our entire lives, otherwise the things of this world silently start to make us stray. Daily we have to commit our lives, turn our eyes toward Jesus, so that the burdens of this life grow dim in the light of his grace and mercy.
As you live another day in your own faith walk, I invite you to answer Jesus' invitation to give him all of your burdens. This could be in the form of journaling, talking with him, going to confession, or talking to his Mom, who is our Heavenly Mother, Mary. The ways in which we can continually offer up our burdens to Jesus are endless. Perhaps every day it will be different for you.
Enjoy a song that will help you turn towards Jesus, and lean on him today.
Nichole Nordeman, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBfHUrLGzNY
In Christ's Peace,