Comfort and Rest
Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, 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
When we in the church hear the gentle call of Jesus to come and lay his game, to dance his dance, we quickly translate that call into burden, and the freedom it offers into bondage. But Jesus’ invitation to come and take on a different kind of yoke is an offer of rest as well as a profound judgment on the laws of the marketplace.
~ Bradley Schmeling
When we begin to follow Jesus, we allow him to live more consciously in our lives, in surprising and simple ways, he is always speaking to us. He is at the heart of the world and at the heart of each of us, especially at the fragile center where we are afraid – of ourselves, of others of God. Fragile people are such a revelation of God.
~ Edward J. Farrell
Come, all of you, come, bearers of burden, come forward,
I will give you rest, don’t wait for long;
all of you who are weary, come to me, the Christ Jesus
the Lord of all, the Savior, King of humankind.
~ Laotian hymn trans. by Cher Lue Vang
Rest. Sabbath rest. Stop wrestling with power, fear, temptation, and guilt. Take the yoke of love onto your sho7ulders and into your heart. Let it become your only burden…. How can the yoke of Jesus be light?… But the yoke of servant love is light. Paul was right. On our own, we cannot escape guilt and sin. But in Christ we are free – free to forgive and be forgiven, free to serve others with joy, free to rest from our labors in the arms of a loving God.
~ Barbara Dick
What burden are you carrying? What is weighing you down? Imagine yourself joining a stream of people making their way toward Jesus. When you stand before him he gently lifts the burden from your back. He encourages you to stand straight and you feel the weariness leaving your body.
~ The Spiritual Formation Bible
Come and find the quiet center
in this crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
Clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace and simply be.
~ Shirley Erena Murray
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.
~ Eugene Peterson, The Message
The reflections are for the week of July 5-11 and based on the scriptures for worship on July 5.
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.