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Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

One of the many stories that come to us from ancient Greek mythology is that of the Atlas, who was sentenced to carry the weight of the sky on his shoulders after taking part in a battle against Zeus. You’ve likely seen this depicted by artists as the world sitting on his shoulders. At times, we can appreciate Atlas’ condition; we feel as if we’re bowing under the crushing burden of our troubles.

Jesus offers us an invitation, “Come to me!” The Israelites were accustomed to going to the impersonal Temple, bringing sacrifices to be presented by the priest on their behalf; now, here is Jesus, the Christ, saying, “You don’t have to do that any longer.” Now, we can come directly to God. There is no longer the need for an intermediary. Jesus invites us to bring him all our guilt, shame, heartbreak, and sin.

He continues, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (29-30). In accepting Christ’s invitation, we also accept something–his yoke. We learn to walk in unison with Christ by taking on the light yoke. We walk in confidence, knowing as new things arise, we’re not facing them alone; he helps shoulder our burdens. In accepting Jesus Christ, we don’t have to be Altas.

Jesus, thank you for your invitation. In you, we receive salvation and forgiveness. In walking with you, we never walk alone. Everything we experience–all our joys and sorrows–are with you by our side. When we grow discouraged, please help us to remember your promise. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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