Freely & Lightly
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Mt. 11:28-30 MSG)
What if you could live freely and lightly in the unforced rhythms of grace? What would that look like? An all-inclusive vacation? Jesus wasn’t talking about vacation. He was talking about work. “Walk with me, work with me, watch how I do it” is Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of “take my yoke upon you and learn from me”.
There is nothing restful about a yoke.
A yoke is a wooden bar that goes across the necks of two animals like oxen so that they can pull a cart or a plow. It is used as a metaphor for slavery in the Bible, as in “God breaks the yoke of our oppressors” or “our fathers were under a heavy yoke in Egypt”.
Jesus didn’t come to show us how to vacation or to take us to an all-inclusive resort in the sky. He came to give us abundant life that starts here and now. He said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Not once you retire. Not on vacation. Not just in heaven. Now.
It’s possible to live freely and lightly.
It is possible, but it is not automatic. You must choose to walk with him, work with him and watch how he does it. As Jesus did with his Father, you can live in intimate partnership with him doing his work.
This is what discipleship looks like. He knows how to walk the narrow road. He bears the bulk of the burden. As we keep pace with him in the unforced rhythms of grace, we will learn to live freely and lightly.
Whose yoke is this?
I’ve been learning how to do this, but I have a long way to go. The voice in my head trying to drive me on by shame, fear or anger is the voice of the accuser, not the Savior. Instead of driving me, Jesus invites me to walk in step with him side by side pulling his load. Or I can go by myself, carrying a burden of my own making. I get to choose.
In the coming weeks we will be walking through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) at Mountain View Church and considering Jesus’ teaching about what this “Freely & Lightly” way of life looks like. We have a few resources to help you participate.
Live worship services Sundays at 9 & 11:15 AM
Message Videos posted Tuesdays
Audio Podcasts on iTunes
Small Group discussions (Email Traci to sign up or learn how to start one)