Sunday Sermon Come All You Who Are Heavily Burdened
We are outside today under a great and tall Norfolk Pine
Well out here Spring Valley way it has been unseasonably warm and dry. This is causing some problems for folks in the area and has us on pins and needles about the fire danger. And so we will address that burden that we face by making our lemons into lemonade and gather today outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Over there we have picnic tables set up for eating later and for now you can just walk over there and lay down your burdens on them and then come and sit, lean or lay down in this grass as we talk about business of carrying that burden around with you.
There are birds singing and if we try real hard or even just imagine we can feel an ocean breeze and hear a babbling brook nearby.
Try as you will to remember that today we are not talking religion. That is for a different time and place.
Here I sat and took a picture without my 50 pound pack on.
Let us look at some scripture
Please keep in mind that here we are not debating about the scripture we are simply using some long ago written words to help us get understanding today. Billions have used these words before us and will after us. And that is why we use it today.
Mathew 11 out of the New International Version of the bible and taken from Biblegateway:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Now it would be my understanding that we could all say these words to another. For is there not always someone with a heavier load than ourselves? Let us think of these words in that manner. And let us look that the real subject matter is souls and not just a physical weight.
Let us be clear with one another. That we normally talk in the manner of MInd, Body and Soul, because for most of us there is a distinction to be made here. And it probably is fair to say that most of us have some thinking that the three are interdependent on each other in some way.
(as an aside let us think that all of us "attending" this sermon under the tree are in fact interdependent on each other in all three areas)
So now let us just say the scripture to the one sitting next to you. Take turns now. And if you are blessed like me with family go find a member and say it to them. Do not worry there is not a test and you can say it just as you please and if you have trouble with the "soul" part just leave that out.
I just love it when my wife comes home with a ton of groceries. My boy and I race out to greet her and carry whatever she has inside the house for her. It makes my 3 year old and I feel like big strong men!
Another fun thing is to insist that my son clean up his toys. Really get him started on such a daunting task, and then chip in and get the job done together. That is just the best feeling all around with gratitude and a job well done.
Why me Lord, - sing it because you know it! It is in your heart and I can see it.
Easing that load.
So I would just bet that most of us were going down that road that we were going to be talking about dumping off that load. And yet here I am telling us to pick up another's load. Shouldn't that be another sermon?
Well I hope that just turned on that light bulb above your head -- because it just did for me.
Somehow and someway there is a power that is rendered into our Mind, Body and Soul when we take on the burden of another. Somehow we get some extra juice that makes our burden become almost nothing.
And I have got to tell you that for me, when someone offers to ease my burden it is instantly lessened. Maybe just some psycho babble concept like having it acknowledged that we have a heavy load. Maybe just the kindness of another that offers that hand does something.
When I was a much younger man. I engaged in some professional sporting. One of the techniques we used was doing a task with extra weight added to make the task harder and create some hopefully stronger muscles for the task. When I was an outfield baseball coach we had a simple technique to improve the throwing skills of our outfielders. They did it with basketballs and footballs. Hopefully we all can see where this line of thought leads us. The heavier the load we can come to carry the lighter the load we must carry seems to us.
Can you give it a shot?
Could you just try to take on someone else's burden, just for me and just for a bit?
Thorns in the side.
Here is some interesting scripture to address the burden of some sort of infirmity. Paul was apparently a great guy. People revered him and generally by all accounts really liked him. He was not PC though and that would not end well for him. But he came up with a notion of carrying a burden of a pain in the flesh. I think it applies to me. I think so well of all of you that it probably does not apply to you, but we can learn together from it I hope;
7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That would be from 2nd Cor 12.
You have to admit that is some powerful thinking. What I like to call a real lemonade trick.
But I think it really does help us to lessen our own burden all by ourselves and that is a cool thing to do. I can just see it now, we are all dancing around saying "hahaha my burden is heavier than yours, so there!"
I did not think I could make it up this side of El Capitan.
Let me put this bad boy sermon to bed, sermons should be shorter.
Let us end this with some concepts that we went over:
All of these are what I call the "somehow and someway" truths;
- Offering to take another's load lessens ours,
- Having someone offer to lessen our load lessens ours,
- Actually carrying more of a burden makes it easier to carry our own,
- Burdens do in fact keep us more humble
Now as I flutter away like a humming bird with no weight I hope you follow me.