Wednesday August 25, 2021
Today is Wednesday, August 25 and this week we are exploring the concept of restoration and how it relates to the biblical story.
As I enter a time of prayer, I pause and become still. I calm my thoughts and silence my mind. I breathe deeply and slowly, and center myself upon the presence of God.
Pause and Pray
Come Holy Spirit, enlighten my heart and mind as I digest God’s Word in the holy scriptures. God, teach me how to listen for your voice. Help me understand what you are saying in my life. I am listening. Speak to me in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
Today I meditate upon these words of scripture. I celebrate the goodness of God and the promise of rest in Psalm 62.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2
Pause and Pray
God is a God of rest. God set the example of rest as recorded in the book of Genesis by creating the entire universe in six days and resting on the seventh day. God declared the seventh day a holy day, a Sabbath day of rest. God invites me into holy rest. Despite the message the world gives with its hurries and worries, God speaks salvation, protection, comfort and rest over me. Like a child who rests in the arms of a loving parent, my soul can rest in the arms of the God who loves me. I focus on Jesus’ words of invitation to me in the Gospel of Matthew.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” Matthew 11: 28-30
In the frame of earthly existence, it is not difficult to identify several things that make me feel weary and burdened. I might name levels of responsibility, demands of life, pressures of expectation, unforeseen requests and details of what is required of me. Jesus uses the image of a beast of burden who is yoked to a heavy object and has become weary from its toil and labor. This yoke might also represent the burden of sin in my life, sin that traps me in a prison and leads to death. Jesus offers me a different kind of yoke. I am invited to come to Jesus and lay my burdens at the foot of the cross. I put on His yoke and find rest for my soul. A holy rest.
Ask: What burdens in my life currently make me feel weary and weighed down?
Pause and Pray
God of Blessing, you are a God who offers rest for the weary. Show me how to lay down whatever I am carrying that continues to burden my soul. Help me to trust in Jesus who offers me a yoke that is easy and promises a holy rest. I return to the scripture passage and read it again slowly. Please open the ears of my heart to hear the word you want to speak to me today.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” Matthew 11:28-30
Ask: What word or phrase strikes me when I read this passage? What might God be speaking to me as I ponder this word or phrase in my heart?
As I reflect on this passage of scripture, I try to get to the root of what God is revealing to me. I consider the words that strike me the most. Are they words that point to what I am bearing in my soul – words like weary and burdened? Or are they words that look forward to being set free from the weight of this world – words like rest, learn, gentle, humble, easy and light? I consider what I may need to set down into the hands of Jesus in order to be relieved from my weighty prison and set free. I equally ponder what yoke I may need to take on in order for me to carry a load that is in proportion to my ability.
Pause and Pray
God of Holiness, today I name the burdens I bear and the weight I carry. I accept the invitation of Jesus to come to Him, find rest, take on His yoke and learn from Him. Show me tangible ways I can do this in my life each day as I seek to grow in faith and serve you. Amen.
This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
As I leave this time of prayer and go throughout my day, I sense my burden has lifted. I ask God to reveal to me the weariness of others. Show me How I can lighten someone’s burden and lift the load they are carrying. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
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