Come on Home. Matthew 11.28-30
When I was 10 years old, my family moved into a big old turn-of-the-century home in Northern California, that had the warmth and charm her builders had intended —with hardwood floors, mahogany built-ins, pillars and pocket doors. But mostly what made it warm was my mother who lived in it; my mom made it ‘home’. I can picture going down the long driveway, up the backstairs and into the kitchen. If she were not already there, she would come swishing around the corner in her apron to greet me with a hug, and a ‘Hi, Hon!’ I was always welcome at home.
Even when I went off to college, later married and had children, there was nothing like going home. Home was safe. I can remember being up in the night with a baby, dog tired, and my mom would say, ‘Bring her home, I’ll watch her, and you can rest.’ So I would. Then I would lay my head down on the bed in my mom’s sewing room and take the nap of a lifetime. I was home. In essence, Mom was saying, ‘Come on home, I will help you.’ As long as my mom was alive, I knew I was never ‘in it’ alone.
Jesus realized that his disciples would grow weary, traveling from town to town, ministering to the people. He knew that Paul, the first missionary to take the Gospel to foreign towns and places would get beat down, exhausted, sometimes devoid of energy. Jesus also knew that you and I would be worn out by our very lives—making a living, raising children, taking care of aging parents, and battling life’s trials and varying difficulties.
When I read Jesus’ invitation, it gives me the same warm feeling as when my mom said, ‘Come on home.’ He said, “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.”1
Can’t you just see him as he said those words to his beloved disciples that day? His eyes were full of compassion, tenderness, and knowing. Being in bodily form at that time, he could only see the weariness of those who were near him. Having ascended to the Father, Jesus sees, he cares, and he prays for us. Paul wrote, “…Christ Jesus who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”2 Jesus prays for us, and his eyes don’t miss a thing.
Do you feel like you are ‘doing life’ alone? Are you weary from the struggle? A text message came across my phone early this morning from a dear one asking me to pray for her 21-year-old son who is struggling mightily to keep it together psychologically as his mind is being pulled this way and that, ravaged by anxiety and racing thoughts, highs and lows. She needed to know she was not alone. After assuring her I would pray, her follow up text was: “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.’ My times are in your hands …”3 You see, she knows who is giving her strength, and who is watching out for her son too.
Are you worn out? Jesus invites you to take his yoke—yoke? Yes,
picture an ox yoke—if you get in the yoke with Jesus, he will do the heavy lifting. And you will find rest. Just like when I went home to Mom’s house, she took my little one, and I found rest, because I was home.
That’s the kind of rest Jesus offers because he is good--he is oh, so good.
1 – Matthew 11.28-30
2 - Romans 8.34
3 – Psalm 31.14
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