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Carrying Our Burdens


Sermon shared by Tim Zingale

July 2002
Summary: A sermon for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 7 It is Jesusí saying about Him carrying our burdens
Denomination: Lutheran
Audience: General adults
7th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 9
Matthew 11:25-30
"Carrying our Burdenís"

This morning I would like to call your attention to the last two verses of our gospel lesson where Jesus says,

28 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls .28* Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29* Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30* For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."RSV

In this day and age when it seems all of us have some sort of burden to bear, some sort of troubles and problems to carry with us, this text brings us some assurance that we are not alone with these burdens. There are many of us who face the burden of bodies that donít do exactly what we want them to do. Others face the prospect of living life alone after the death of a loved one, the burden of coping with this world all alone can be a very large one to bear. Still others have the burden of broken relationships with either their children, their spouses or their relatives. When one is in tension with someone one cares about, that burden can be extremely heavy to carry. Still others face the burden of making choices in this world. Wondering what they will do with their lives, wondering when they do make a decision if it is the right one. There are other kinds of burdens we face, burdens of sin, or temptation, burden of guilt, burdens of conflicting loyalties, burdens of providing for our families, this life is filled with stress, with cares, with worries, with situations that call for us to make choices that sometimes are not pleasant to make.

Jesus is saying in our language, come to me all who who are struggling with life in any way and those of you who have burdens that you cannot carry alone, and I will help you with your struggles. Jesus knew that all people have a difficult path to follow in life. Life is not easy because we live in a world that is filled with sin. Sin makes life difficult for us because it has put into our world all those things that God would have kept from us because he knew these things would make life difficult. But we want to be like God, to know what he knows, so now we have to know all the ways in which life will make us carry burdens, will load us down with problems , with guilt, with broken relationships, with not so perfect bodies, and a whole host of other things.

But Jesus says he will help us, he will walk besides us, he will help us carry our load. When our daughter Melissa was 2 she wanted to help around the house and for a 2 year old she could he very "helpful" if you know what I mean. She liked to help move things around, but she needed my help.

She liked to help move chairs around, but when she does, I need to pick up the chair in such a way that I am carrying most of it and she is helping by carrying a much smaller load.

Jesus uses in our text an illustration from his day and age to explain his helping carrying loads. He says that the yoke that is used on the oxen is similar. He puts the heavy part of the yoke on the stronger oxen, and the lighter part on the oxen that is not quite as strong.

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