I am starting to put plans together for another Camino walk in France later this year. On a long-distance trek, every item is weighed and carefully considered. Weight is a critical issue and can be the difference between making the journey or not. I have a bushwalking buddy who has the opposite approach. Whenever we walked, his pack would bulge with all sorts of unnecessary luxury additions. He would often find the walking harder going, but we all appreciated it when it came to setting up camp and out came the Port bottle! On one trip, friends slipped a large rock into his pack and it was only later in the day he discovered why he was struggling a bit more than normal! He walked much faster after lunch…
How light do you travel? It seems that we are good at accumulating ‘burdens’, and often become so used to carrying them that we hardly notice. Do we wear them as a badge of honour, proof of commitment or piety; quietly cherish them as evidence of the theology of the cross? It’s only when the weight is lifted, do we realise that we have been labouring with a heavy burden. Hear again this gracious invitation from Jesus: ‘Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Martin Luther preached his final sermon on this Gospel. In it he says: ‘Christ says, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy-laden”, and it is as though He were saying: Just stick to Me, hold on to My Word and let everything else go.’ Sit a moment with those words. What is it that Jesus invites you to give over to him? What stops you from handing things over? Take a moment of silence to pray.
Pr David Spike
Learning Leader – Formation