January 17, 2022

Matthew 11.28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

You can take a bit of time and read the section that follows in Matthew 12 later.  Suffice it to say that this invitation from Jesus comes right before one of the Sabbath disputes with the Pharisees.  The disciples will be eating grain from the fields, breaking the laws surrounding harvesting on the Sabbath.

We hear from people who are tired of legalism, yet they have a new form of legalism that replaces the one they left.  We seem to like the comforts of known limits.  It goes with a study that showed that on school playgrounds with fences, children played right to the edge.  Playgrounds without fences, children either stayed away from the edges or they would go past the edges as rebellion.

Most people like the comfort of knowing that they are completely in the right in everything they are doing.  The extra rules just make sure we are completely right.  But then, and now, all the rules become a burden.  When Jesus invites us into a relationship that promises to have an easy yoke and a light burden he has fulfilled it.  Contrary to the legalisms of our day Jesus does not have many rules and demands on the world.

The commands of Jesus are actually quite simple and short.  Love God, love your neighbour and teach others the commands of Jesus (love God and neighbour).  We have no space to be demanding others follow our sense of morality if we cannot truly love people without a hidden agenda.  And once we begin loving others unconditionally we won’t be wanting to make them live by our sense of morality; we’ll just love our neighbours.  And we let the Holy Spirit lead them as the Holy Spirit also leads us.

We are invited to follow Jesus without the need to have hundreds of rules to dictate our lives.  We are invited to follow Jesus as we love God and neighbour.

When we judge others we have no room to love them.”  Mother Teresa

SongWonderful, Merciful Saviour


We praise you, God almighty, for the power you have shown in creating the world.  We thank you for your love in redeeming us from sin and in creating us anew in Christ.  Grant us strength in this life to honor you, Lord God, both in worship and in witness, for Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.

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