Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blogging Towards  Sunday, July 24th    

Chosen by our guest preacher Rev. Jack Buckley who serves First Presbyterian Church Alameda, this teaching of Jesus is quite challenging.   The first verses quote the First Testament and then lift up the common critic of Jesus by his opposition, principally that he’s too much of a party guy always hanging out with the wrong type of folks.

Jesus picks up later and talks about rest and renewal.  A life of faith, a life of following his teachings and example is like the lightest yoke you could imagine.  We rarely use yokes these days, as we drive cars or ride the bus, not a horse.  The yoke is the way in which a beast of burden is guided and directed – controlled in a sense by the weight on his shoulders.  We too often can identify with being driven  around by the heavy burdens of worries, fears, concerns, anxieties and uncertainty on our shoulders. 

Jesus lived in a day when folks were terrified of the occupying Roman power, unsure about the cultural transformation they were undergoing in the Roman Empire – afraid of losing what they held dear: family, daily food, culture and faith.  In the midst of all of that loss, change and uncertainty, where was God?  Where is God in our burdens, when we feel overwhelmed and under encouraged?  If Jesus is present with us in the travails, trouble and joys of daily life here in Oakland, what does that mean for us and the way we live and the reason for which we take on each day?

 What word, image or phrase in this passage grabs your attention?

 How does that word, image or phrase touch your life and what you’re living or wrestling with
these days?

How do you hear the Spirit of God inviting you – or us as a church – to act, speak or be through this passage?

The words of verse 28 are commonly used in the liturgical invitation to the communion table.  How have you experienced Jesus as the One who gives rest to the weary and takes on our burdens?

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