Matthew 11:25-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jesus Thanks His Father
25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants;
26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
29 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.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
For many these last few months have been anything but easy and the burden imposed by this terrible virus has in no way been light. People have been self-isolating in their homes, separated from loved ones and perhaps fearful not only of the present but also for the future.
No, even for those of us who call ourselves Christians the “yoke” of the last few months has not been easy or the “burden” light.
The mechanised farming of today is a world away from the farming of yesteryear. Ploughing was done by a team of oxen or horses pulling the plough behind them. This was a very skilful job on the part of the farmer. The animals had to be carefully chosen so that the stronger one would always lead the weaker one. The yoke or horse collar that went across their shoulders or around their necks to enable them to pull the plough was designed to distribute the weight of the plough more evenly and was tailor made and crafted to fit each individual animal so that it was more comfortable and the work easier.
Jesus never said that life would be easy or trouble free. Being a follower never meant that we could avoid difficulty or tragedy but it gives us a way of coping with it. Jesus Christ is the stronger one who can lead us through life. He knows us all individually, even better than we know ourselves; he knows what we need, our strengths and our weaknesses and our potential.
He invites us to trust in Him and know that even in the most difficult of times we will never be alone.
The Collect for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity.
Gracious Father, by the obedience of Jesus you brought salvation to our wayward world: draw us into harmony with your will, that we may find all things restored in Him, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
We pray for the Church in this nation as we prepare to return to our buildings for worship. We pray for your wisdom and guidance as we open our buildings up once more and we pray for those who will not yet be able to be with us through continued self- isolation and shielding that they may know your presence with them.
We pray for the world as it continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. We pray for success in finding a vaccine and protection for all who put themselves at risk in caring for others.
We pray for all who are running businesses, those who are reopening at this time and those who still cannot. We pray for common sense to prevail with all who are going to pubs, restaurants and shops this coming week.
We pray for all those we know who are ill, those who are lonely, those who are hungry and the homeless, that they may find peace and relief.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and his Son Jesus Christ. Amen