29 September 2013

How To Find Rest

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

“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.” (Matthew 11:25-26, 28-30)

These words are water to a thirsty heart. Everyone, young or old, rich or poor, weak or strong, has a burden. And Jesus says ‘Come, and I will give you rest’. Those who draw near to Jesus discover that neither age, nor position, nor privilege determine ultimate status. In the company of Jesus all are simply “the weary, the burdened”.   Yes, everyone is the same here, even in our many differences.

So, in this ‘coming to Jesus’ we find solidarity. We are not alone anymore. This is so because the person we come to is gentle and humble. This is so because in his gentleness he offers rest to all. This is so because he takes away all heavy burdens. What an offer he makes!

And how do we accept it? By being a child. The wise will not accept it. They are too clever, supposedly. The learned will not accept it. They are too busy reading their books so they can talk about the latest ideas. Only children will see the offer, hear it and accept it. If they think about it, they will only do so long enough to see almost instantly that anyone who rejects such an offer has to be an imbecile. Who would reject it? No one in their right mind.

But, how do we know if the offer is real, valid? “You’ll only know if you try it,” says the child. Something tells me it’s a safe bet.

And what’s to lose? If it’s all a sham, you’ll be no worse off than you are now: burdened and weary. But, if it’s all true…well, then…you’ll find rest, rest, never-ending rest.

Happy Sabbath, friends! Here’s to rest. Here’s to the faith of a child.

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