Welcome the weary and burdened

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Messages

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Welcome the weary and burdened

As I share with you today’s message, I want you to keep in mind whatever it is that is weighing you down, what’s heavy in your heart , whatever the doubts you may have or keeping you up at night – Today is the day to let go.

For many of us this year has not been easy.  Perhaps we may have had to face illness, death in the family, financial struggles or conflicts with friends and family.  Even turning on the TV or reading the newspaper has become gut wrenching.   Sometimes when confronted with these issues we begin to question God.  Questioning why is God allowing this to happen.  We ask, why me?  I am such a good person, why me?  I come to church every Sunday, why me?  I pray before ever meal and before I go bed, why me? 

I then pose a question to you, why ask why?  It’s natural for us question.  However, we may never get an answer.  So then maybe we should stop questioning.  Maybe we should approach our struggles from a different angle.  We get so wrapped up in the questioning, caught up in the resentment and perhaps think we are not good enough that we forget what Christ has already done for us and will continue to do.  We are already part of Christ’s family through baptism, one in Christ through the sacrament.  We have the Word for encourage, guidance and comfort.  So why shouldn’t we through prayer come to him?  You see in Christ’s own words, he makes this promise to us: (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.”  What is yoke?  Yoke is used to join two agents together.  By offering us his yoke he is saying that we are in this together; your struggles are my struggles; you pain is my pain.  He is walking with us side by side.  We should not feel like we are alone.

Let me share with a little story about my daughter.  When Samantha was about 5 or 6 she suffered through night terrors.  For those of you have never experienced one:  it’s when you are having a terrible nightmare but you can’t seem to wake up and sometimes you begin to sleep walk.  Samantha would wake up screaming and crying.  She would call out for me or my wife.  We would go into her room every time and try to sooth her, rub her back, reassured her that everything was going to be ok.  She needed that reassurance and comfort to go back to bed. By submitting ourselves to Christ he guarantees us the reassurance and comfort we are seeking.

Scripture states in: (Hebrew 4:15-16)15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

So we have Christ, who is offering his yoke, walking with us, sympathizing with us and inviting us to come to him so that we can approach the thrown with full confidence so that we can receive the help that we need during our darkest times.  So why question?  Christ is telling you to go to him.  Today let us approach the Alter with full confidence, truly trusting and surrendering to ourselves to Christ.  How beautiful is that?  He wants everything you are going through in exchange for His peace.   How sweet is that?

In closing I will leave you with this:  About 750 years before Christ is born, God revealed to Isaiah the coming of the Messiah and His kingdom.  He is sharing his promise and guaranteeing his Peace. (Isaiah 9:2-7)  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Amen

God moved heaven and earth so that Jesus could be born.  Then his only son was crucified, died and buried.  He then defeated death to give us His kingdom of peace, today let us take hold of it.

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