“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”
These words from Jesus have long been a source of comfort and assurance. These are the words that I memorized as a Sunday School student. These are the words that I am privileged to pronounce when a stole is placed upon the shoulders of a brand-new pastor in the Service of Ordination. I was most recently blessed to speak these words when Pastor Melanie Forrey was ordained on January 6, 2024, at Zoar Lutheran Church in Perrysburg. These are also the words that were spoken, when a new red stole was placed on my own shoulders almost 28 years ago by Bishop James Rave. I can still hear the echo of his strong, deep voice, “Come to me all you that are weary…”.
In these verses from St. Matthew, Jesus promises to give rest to those who are weary and burdened. And that word, weary, is a word that strikes me. Jesus doesn’t use the word tired, but the word weary. And there is a difference between being tired and being weary. When you’re tired a good night’s sleep brings needed refreshment and relief. When you’re weary, it takes more than a good night’s rest, it takes the rest that only Jesus can give, which is a rest for the soul. “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” (Matthew 11:29). So may you find rest in the one who calls you to come to receive the love and the rest that only Jesus can provide.
Let us pray, “Blessed Jesus, we are weary, and we are burdened, Carrying so many worries and cares. And then you bid us to come to you. To learn from you. To love like you. Lead us to be gentle with ourselves and others. Help us to be humble in heart. That in you, always and ever in you, we may truly find rest for our souls. This we pray in the name of Jesus. Crucified and Risen for the world”. Amen