A reflection on Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30, the Gospel lesson for Proper 9a, according to the Revised Common Lectionary.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are 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.”
I have to say, that this passage makes me more than a little uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong; it’s beautiful. If I let it sink into my bones, I could find myself weeping if I wasn’t careful.
Because I feel so weary sometimes. I feel myself give under the weight of the burden I (choose to) carry around. I buckle beneath it.
Sometimes all I want is just a little rest. A burden that is perhaps just a little bit lighter.
But, it’s the easy part of this passage that gets me.
Yes, the way of Jesus is wonderful. But, easy? I’ve been at trying to live the way of Jesus for the better part of 40 years, and I can say many things about it.
Easy isn’t one of them.
Might it be that what’s difficult about it is my own convoluted way of following Jesus? The way where I try and have a foot in both worlds? Where I try and have it both ways?
I follow Jesus where convenient, but follow my own desires when moved. I become attached to my things, and fail to give what I should to those in need. I set aside a few moments for prayer and study, but I find plenty of time to binge-watch the latest offering from Netflix. I give Jesus some of myself, but jealously guard the rest of me.
Maybe it’s that dance, back and forth, straddling the things of God and my own narcissism, that’s what’s so damn hard.
Perhaps is I just gave it up, and just loved God with everything I have, and loved my neighbor as myself…
Perhaps that would be such a lighter life…
Maybe it’s not the passage that makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just me.