Thursday, October 1, 2009

The unforced rhythms of grace...

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

For Scripture memory for the first two weeks of October I wanted to memorize something in red letters - something Jesus himself said while walking on this earth. And for some reason I was drawn to this familiar passage. I'm committing it to memory in the NIV translation, but check out The Message:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me. Get away with me
and you'll recover your life.

I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me
and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

The unforced rhythms of grace...sounds like something I'd like to learn. I also love the idea that the yoke is not ill-fitting. The Amplified Bible offers more insight:

"Come to Me, all you who labor
and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me,
for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart,
and you will find rest
(relief and ease and refreshment

and recreation and blessed quiet)
for your souls.

For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--
not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing,
but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant),
and My burden is light and easy to be borne."

My pastor preached on this passage a while back and he suggested that if our yoke is burdensome, uncomfortable and ill-fitting, chances are it's not the one Jesus has placed upon us.

One commentator offers this: "Jesus' yoke is not lighter because he demands less, but because he bears more of the load with us."

His yoke is easy...