"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 11:28-30
I have been thinking about this text a lot lately. This is one of those passages that has always held onto, even if I couldn't totally make sense of it.
For me, at least, I have had trouble making sense of it. My yoke is easy. I mean the disciples spent years with Jesus, learning from him and it seems like most of the time they got it wrong. I realize that what they got wrong is they were continually trying to figure out the "new" rules. But it wasn't about "new" rules. Replacing the list from the Old Testament with a new list.
There are few times that Jesus gives a straight answer to a question. Usually when Jesus is questioned he answers with another question or a story. There is one blaring exception, when he is asked about the greatest commandment.
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40
The theory for my own personal life is I will try to focus on these commandments, once I got those down I will move on to others.
I think that ahead of all things, we as Christ followers, as people who claim to follow the one true God, the one thing we are called to do is love.
1 John 4:8 says "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
Here he says God is love. Not God likes love, not God wants you to love, God IS love.
I used to think love was like a limited commodity. I remember having my first son and thinking there is no way I could love anyone on God's green earth more than this. We waited a while to have #2. I was nervous about when we had our second son if I would have enough love. So when he was born I siphoned off 1/3 of my love from #1. Alright, that's not what happened, my love grew exponentially. The more I loved, the more love I had.
We can debate church styles. We can talk about theology and church doctrine. We can discuss music choices and the future of organized religion. I enjoy all these things, but these cannot be what we are about. We are in the business of love. We are called to love. Not just the people that make us feel good, but everyone. We are to love with reckless abandonment. Crazy love.
Jesus has parable after parable describing this love.
It is not about power or control. It is not about searching the Bible for the "new" law. You don't need political power or fame. Everyone can do it, and children are perhaps the best at it.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Jesus said his yoke was easy, and I choose to believe him.