“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” -Matt. 11.29-30
1 Corinthians 15.51-57
When I think of a yoke, I do not think of it being easy or comfortable, but Jesus doesn’t promise there won’t be suffering or pain involved. Reflecting on the times that I have carried particular burdens, when I have been able to journey through them with a friend the load seems to be lightened. In a similar way, Jesus is saying, “Let me carry your burden with you. You will find peace and rest.” I think so often we can get easily caught up and focussed on our burdens that we lose sight of what Christ has to offer. There is insight into this: “[God] has hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and has revealed them to infants. We can look to children and learn from them. I figure they have one resilient quality in particular that sheds light on this topic, trust. They trust that all will be provided for them, without even thinking about it. Why? Because of the love that they are shown by their parents/grandparents/loved ones. It is this image of love and total care that allows them to be in this state, and this relationship mirrors God’s relationship with us; He cares for us immensely so that we might be like infants and have a total trust. We are reminded in Lamentations what this trust breeds: “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” (Lam. 17.21-23) So my trust of the Lord, when it is deeply rooted, leads me to hope. And this hope will lead us to the yoke that will bring us peace.
As we celebrate this feast of All Souls we remember our loved one who have passed on, but we ALSO remember Jesus has swallowed up death, by his death. Thanks be to God, who gives us victory over death, through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15.57) Amen.