Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 NIV
No matter how independent we think we are, at some point, we all need other people’s help. When we begin to ask other people to help, the weight of our troubles somehow seems less. You don’t need to be a Christian to understand what it means to share our burdens. It is a common theme in books, movies, and music. You may remember the popular songs from the ‘70s; He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother (The Hollies), and Lean on Me (Bill Withers). While they are secular songs, I would encourage you to listen to the lyrics as they resonate with today’s message.
What is unique to Christians is that we fulfill Christ’s law to love our neighbors in carrying others’ load. While each of us must focus on our walk with Christ, we also must come together as a communal body. When we come together each week, we raise our burdens before our little family of Christ. We meet again as a smaller group on Tuesday evening to lift those prayers. As individuals, we continue to pray at other times throughout the week.
Taking human form and experiencing troubles and woe, Jesus understood what it meant to be burdened. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus offered these words of comfort, “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.” When we offer intercessory prayers to Jesus, we are helping to lift that yoke to others. Imagine a collar shared across several oxen -- the more the oxen, the lighter the load.
God, we give you thanks for the community of Christ. We, humans, are stubborn and independent. Sometimes we feel like we can do everything on our own, but we find the load crushing and become overwhelmed when we try. God, grant us the wisdom and willingness to share our burdens with our brothers and sisters. As we hear others’ troubles, let us raise them to you in prayer and take action to lift their weight. We do not always know what to do, so please help us discern how to help each other. Please make us your vessels to do as you will. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.