Cast your burdens on the Lord to find real rest

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Jesus says: "Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace; I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew  11:28-30, from The Message version).
Life is conflicted! Saint Paul reminds us how the good we desire to do is difficult to carry out, while the evil we don’t want to do is easy (Romans 7).
Jesus knows how conflicted life can be, because, as we believe, he became one with us. Jesus knows those things in life that draw our attention away from God to do our own “thing” instead of God’s.
The conflicted life is the only life we have known from our mother’s womb, Scripture declares. The human story, told in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, is full of physical and spiritual conflict that challenges us in our effort to be like the creator intended when she/he gave us the breath of life. God created the world and then rested, we are told, but “there is no rest for the wicked.” Our disassociation from our maker limits our ability to follow God’s way.
Jesus invites us to enter into God’s rest, the sabbath of God at the end of creation’s story. It is interesting that in the creation story, each “day” begins and ends. However, the “seventh day” has no end. God’s rest never ends. That sabbath of people with God ended when humanity left God and, in the sweat of their brow, a conflicted life ensued.
Jesus invites us to join our lives with his life, day by day. In him, we will find that sabbath, that rest that God has for humanity. In Jesus, our conflicts will find resolution and be put to rest. Our savior took on the conflicted life, even its death, to bring us the shalom, the peace that passes all understanding, as we enter God's rest.
Saint Paul wraps up his thoughts about conflict saying:  “Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks to God through Jesus Christ.” He is our savior who promises to deliver us from every evil, when day-by-day we join our lives to his life.
Cast your burden on the Lord and he will set you free!

Rev. James Fackler • St. Laurence Episcopal Church, Effingham

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