I remember seeing a concrete bench in a cemetery somewhere that had etched across the top in quotation marks: “Come to me and I will give you rest.” Maybe not literally, but Jesus’s invitation and promise are words to remember, to hang onto, when life seems almost unbearable.
But then Jesus goes on to make a more complicated invitation and promise. “Yoke yourself to me and I will give your restless soul what it seeks.” If you’re like me you’ve only seen a yoke in a photo. It’s a thick wooden beam placed across the shoulders of two oxen and attached by reins to a loaded cart. Together, side by side, they can pull it. A burden, drudgery. Makes our shoulders ache to look at that photo.
What is Jesus inviting us to?
Richard Rohr tells us we all may begin adult life with our goal to make enough money so that we can entertain ourselves, protect ourselves and be comfortable
At some point we begin to ask ourselves the Big Questions. Is there more to life? What matters?
Our souls become restless. For St. Augustine of Hippo life, for years and years, was one big Roman orgy, until he reached this turning pt. Famously he said, “Our souls are restless till they find their rest in Thee.”
To take on Christ as our meaning-giver, our lifestyle model, our Companion along the journey, is to find rest, and peace, and hope on the inside, not necessarily on the outside, around us.
I think of a priest from Wyoming who, as a young man, came all the way to the Edmund Pettis Bridge to stand for something.
Of a woman who was raped by a supposed friend and decided to forgive him
Of a group of Episcopalians in Memphis who have decided to support minority-owned businesses.
They, and others you know, decide to do the right thing -- the just, the compassionate, the merciful thing -- to repair the world just a little bit, because they are yoked to Christ. And so are we.
- The Rev. Anne Carriere, Priest Associate
VIDEO of December 9 Advent Reflection by the Rev. Anne Carriere
with Music for Meditation. Reflection based on Matthew 11:28-30