“Come to Me, all you 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. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mat 11:28-12:1 NKJ)
Sitting in McDonald’s this morning, on Patton Ave, in West Asheville, it became evident that I was not in the richest neighborhood. Some were clearly transient, wanting to get out of the rain. Others just seemed to have the weight of the world on their shoulders. I doubt if they cared about the Russia investigation or if they even knew where North Korea was geographically located. Also, there were those who clearly were, as they have said to me more than once, were ‘not from around here.’ Immigrants through the centuries have struggled with assimilation into their new culture without losing the identity of who they are.
Senior with health issues and no insurance, single parents with part-time jobs, low wages and no security. The poor all have one thing in common, they all wear the shackles of debt, a bondage that will last as long as they will live.
Hate crimes have spiked since the election. Budget cuts on the horizon, cutting meals to impoverished children and seniors, Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, and SNAP programs.
What a burden to carry, and so you wonder why more people don’t take Jesus’ offer to come to him and find rest. It doesn’t mean that their problems will vanish, but their outlook would improve. In the meantime, we as the Church need to refocus and start to see the Church as a community and not a corporation, to reach out and not down, making our buildings a resource and not a requiem, a vibrant movement for life and not a mausoleum of a bygone era. Where faith grows, instead of fear stifling. Jesus expects the Church to be an alternative to the systems of this world. His yoke is easy and his burden light.