God's Word: Live It!

I Will Give You Rest

Yesterday we encountered a hodge podge of scripture but finally settled on this: “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, 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.” So. You know that friend of yours who you called late at night with maybe a little too much wine in your head? The one who listened patiently while you spilled your guts? Remember the time you had to tell your mom or dad the worst thing you had to tell them and they reacted by chuckling, wrapping you in their arms and saying “It’s okay. It’s okay.”?

This is what Jesus is trying to say to us. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your problem is, no matter how deep the sin you’ve committed, I am here for you. I love you so much and I’m so glad you’ve come and shared this with me.  Let’s walk together through this darkness into my light. Let me take at least half of what you’re carrying. I’m not just strong enough to do this with you, I WANT to do this with you.

We all carry something. Something that won’t let us alone with ourselves, something that distracts us from God’s love for us. This is what Jesus wants to carry. That thing. Our thing. He’s inviting us to give it to him. And, like a little child who can sleep better when we get tucked in, we need to let ourselves get tucked in. For tomorrow we will wake up knowing that we are loved, forgiven, looked after and accompanied. “Come to me…”

The Advocate

Yesterday we listened in on Jesus’ extended goodbye to his disciples. This time the conversation turns away from the future plan “going to prepare a place for you” to their present situation: Jesus is leaving and they are in panic mode. His reassurance is hard to hold onto because Jesus starts talking about The Advocate, the Spirit, about how God is in Jesus and Jesus is in them. He talks about Commandments, and love and God’s love and his love. Frankly, it would have been easy to stop listening and it’s not the kind of reassurance that these guys were looking for. Like you and me, The Holy Spirit can seem like less than what we are hoping for, too ethereal, too wispy, too ill defined.

But things shift in the conversation and Jesus tries to explain THEY ARE the embodiment of the Spirit. That they can be the Spirit to others, that they have the divine within them and they have no reason to panic. He goes on to tell them he expects them to do great things with the strength of this Spirit. Of course, Jesus isn’t just talking to just them, he’s talking to you and me. We are the Spirit. We can advocate for others. We can walk alongside others shoulder to shoulder on their own roads to Emmaus. 

We have Christ within us, and the Spirit alongside us. We are being called out of our fears and into the lives of others to assure them of God’s love and compassion, forgiveness and mercy, tenderness and understanding.

Someone in your life needs you to advocate for them. Be present, listening without judgment, perhaps pulling them out of darkness and into their better selves. Christ has entrusted this great power to us: to advocate, to heal, to love, to forgive. This is went to the cross and walked out of the tomb. So that we might live life and help others live theirs. 

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