|Carry that load by Carsten ten Brink on Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0|
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Covid-19 is: why do some persons test positive, but not get sick?
Two weeks ago, the director of the CDC estimated that for every single person who tests positive, there are ten more who are infected. That means that a significant portion of the population that is spreading the virus to others, even though they don’t feel sick.
Yet I would argue that we’re all sick: sick and tired of Covid-19. So when Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” I’m asking, “how can there be rest in such restless times? How do I rest when the things I count on for rest are closed off to me?”
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are not living as God intends. This is why Jesus says, “take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”
The quickest and easiest route out of the pandemic is to love the neighbor as the self. Tens of thousands of deaths can be easily prevented if everyone would just wear facemasks, wash their hands, practice social distancing, and exercise basic self-control. We can keep businesses up and running without putting people’s health risk. But we need to be taught. And we need the will to act.
Racism, riots, poverty, injustice, and division are all man-made. And we can unmake them. But we need to be taught. And we need the will to act.
We are distressed—and rightly so—that the Coronavirus has wreaked such havoc on church life. We just need to be taught how to be church in this new reality. And we need the will to act.
Jesus can’t teach you if you’re not willing to learn. People dismissed Jesus as a glutton and a drunk because they were convinced that they already knew what was right and wrong. In their minds, they didn’t need Jesus to teach them anything.
One of the biggest reasons why our souls become so weary is because we want life, work, play, and rest to be on our own terms. But that’s not how it works. You cannot dictate your desires to Jesus and expect that he will grant your wishes.
At the same time, you are not strong enough to bear your burdens alone. You need Jesus’s help. You must lay your burdens down: the burdens you take up willingly to satisfy your wants and desires; as well as the burdens that are thrust upon you apart from your choosing. Lay your burdens down, and learn…
Jesus bore the yoke of sin and death for you on a cross. Whatever burdens you bear, you do not bear alone. You bear them with the strength of Jesus. Some burdens you will abandon for good, with the strength of Jesus.
Jesus teaches that love is more than feelings. Love means bearing one another’s burdens; laying yours down and sharing the burden your neighbor can’t bear alone. The number one way you know Jesus is with you is when another person is with you, helping you to bear the weight. There is no greater gift than to give someone rest and relief from their burdens.
The true strength of our church is revealed in the burdens we help one another to bear. We must work harder to strengthen the bonds of caring between ourselves and the neighbor. If we can’t care for people in here, we must take God’s rest out there.
It’s ironic for Jesus to define discipleship as rest—but that’s what it is. When you are in the presence of Jesus, you find rest. Come and lay your burdens down. Rest at the feet of Jesus who will teach you to live well in these restless times Come to Jesus, and learn be true to who you are created in Christ to be, to both rest and give rest, and journey into the future with hope.