Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 New Revised Standard Version
The Easy Yoke
16-17 "But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.'
18-19 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
25-27 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; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 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.
28-30 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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."
Thoughts from John: In our world, it’s easy to create expectations for one another. In fact, it’s easy for me to believe that I have the right definition for Goodness, Truth, or Holiness. Then it becomes even easier to find people who agree with me, and to be united against others who don’t live up to our expectations. Jesus compares this pattern to something like kids on a playground, going back and forth with taunts and teasing, headed nowhere except toward disappointment and animosity. So Jesus says: Team up with me. My way is a way out of this cycle. The word that gets translated to “easy,” is better translated to “good,” or “kind.” It’s as if Jesus knows we’re all tired of the hate and pain and cycles of revenge. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, “hate is too great a burden to bear.” So Jesus offers us the way of forgiveness and grace as the antidote. This sounds way better to me.
Outward Mindset Application
Apologize for something you need to apologize for.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Caregiving (loving the world through loving others): Do you know any parents who could use a night off and a night out? Offer to watch their kids so they can enjoy themselves!
Questions for Reflection
Who is someone you wish would change their ways of being human? Who is someone who wishes you would change your ways of being human? Is there a third option that doesn’t require either of you to change?
One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We would love to see you there!
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Salem, OR 97301
“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.
Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.
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