Looking Forward to Sunday: Work That Restores

Rev. Daniel Eggold

Jun 28, 2020

Readings:

Zechariah 9:9–12; Psalm 145:1–14; Romans 7:14–25a; Matthew 11:25–30

     What kind of rest is Jesus promising when he says, “Come to me, all you that are weary” (Matt. 11:28)? It isn’t about a day off, though given Jesus’faithfulness to the Jewish Torah, sabbath rest is surely part of his vision for human life. But Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me” (Matt.11:29). These are words that mean work: a yoke is what you put on oxen so they can pull a plow. These words don’t sound like rest! But they invite us to do the work that really matters, instead of the work that only wearies our bodies and souls.

     Jesus invites us to take on his teaching and his way of working for the kingdom. He is gracious to those who follow him in this labor. He does not put impossible tasks on people or reject people because they are not perfect. This is how he brings rest for weary souls. This is what makes his burden light.

     Jesus also invites his followers to join him in doing the work that matters, the labor that satisfies: loving our neighbor, caring for the needy,seeking justice for those excluded, feeding the hungry, forgiving those who do harm, seeking liberation for people who are oppressed, teaching others that God is love for all. This is work that might make your body weary but will give life to your soul. This work might make you tired by the end of the day, but it is the kind of tired that feels satisfying and leads to good, restful sleep.

     To follow Jesus is to find ourselves working for the things that matter to our hearts and to God. What a gift to follow such a gracious, gentle, and humble Lord.

Prayer

You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.