I’d posted this for my Wonderment Wednesday and it’s been with me all week. When I read Eugene Peterson’s version of this popular scripture, it felt like I was reading a letter penned from Jesus himself. That’s why I prefaced WW with, “My Dear Child—”
“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 rhythm 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.”
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Can you hear him ask, “Are you tired, dear one? Weary? Frustrated?”
“Yeah, I am. Sometimes I wonder where I’ll get the energy to face another stinking day.”
“Are you tired of boring, condemning, check-the-box-off religion? Do you dread going to church every Sunday? Do you make yourself go because it’s what you think is the right thing to do? Or do you avoid it all together because you’re afraid? You fear that you won’t measure up. Fear you’re there under false pretenses? Fear… just fear?”
I’m sitting here, typing these words and thinking to myself, “Yeah, sometimes I really do, Lord. Sometimes I’d rather not go at all. What does that say about me?”
Shame and guilt inevitably follows such an admission. We’re supposed to rejoice in the Lord’s Day. Relish going to worship together and congregate with other believers.
Then why don’t I? Why is it so easy to lose my joy?
No, he says none of those things.
“Come to me, my love. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.”
He invites us in.
No blaming. No chastising. No kicking you when you’re down.
Nope, none of that.
“Come,” he says. “Let me help you recover your life. I will give you rest from your worries, fears, shortcomings… My yoke is easy-peasy. This isn’t meant to be hard.”
Can you hear His enticing invitation in this passage? Can you?
But— you may argue. You don’t know what/ where/ who… I am.
To this, I think of…
Peter the loudmouth, bumbling fisherman.
Paul the Christian killer
Matthew... who copied down Jesus’ words… the cheating tax collector.
Let’s go back even further,
Moses the excuse maker.
Jonah the runner.
Gideon the hider.
Ezekiel… well he was just crazy, don’t you think?
David has a track record a mile long.
Do I really need to go on?
God isn’t into picking ready-made great people to increase His kingdom. God is into picking losers.
Losers that he wants to make into great leaders.
And He does it His way. In His time. Sometimes in ways that make absolutely no sense.
He builds a church upon the bumbling. Spreads his word through the cheat and the persecutor. He’ll make great leaders from the fearful, the failures, and the flunkies. And I know he can do marvelous things with the odd-balls as well.
Come on. We’ve done the best we can with the skills and talents we possess. What more might we accomplish by inviting Him in and learning His ways.
Jesus beckons, “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm 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.”
Freely and light? Is it possible? Can it be true? Can it really be so easy?
What harm will come from giving it a try?
Jesus, I’m reaching out, placing my hand in yours. I’m afraid sometimes. I think you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into with me. I can be a real mess. But I hear you calling. I want what you have. I want it real bad. Lead me. Come on, let’s go!