When as a schoolboy we trooped into the science labs I remember a phrase used in a scientific way when measuring forces and stuff. That a thing was at rest. And I never knew if that was a destination or a state or an action on the part of the subject.
I bounced into Mounce today. The two verses offered for contemplation today carried the word “rest” twice. That is one rest per verse (why does the word “perverse” spring to mind?).
The first rest was “give you rest” – and that implies a thing rather than a place or state. The second rest was “you will find rest” which implies a place rather than a thing.
Mr Mounce offered the following: “to rest, be refreshed; (act.) to give rest”. Then went on with: ”to cause to rest, to soothe, refresh, to take rest, repose, refreshment, to have a fixed place of rest, abide, dwell.“ All of which sounds very cool!
Did you know that there are twelve occurrences of this word in the whole New Testament (and I knocked out two in just two short verses)?
Does that mean “rest” is not a high priority? Are we to assume that rest is a luxury? Because the alternative to rest – is “busy”. Busy doing Kingdom work. Busy doing God stuff. Busy filling our diaries and calendars and decades with stuff to be busy. We are on safe ground when we are busy. Adding the burden here, weighed down with God stuff there. You know where you are when you are busy.
Off to BibleGateway to check out “busy”, to find there are six occurrences of that word in the entire bible (and one was given as “busybody” – which amused me)!
Busy Body has never been used as a compliment in my experience. Yet we all love to be bodies that are busy for God. Now that I do call perverse!! And there is more …
Not one of those six occurrences is to be found in the Gospels (and if the Gospels ain’t doing it, then Jesus ain’t preaching it).
Busy seems not be where God Soft Hands Jesus is at – not in the way we have made that “busy” word a “righteous” word.
”Jesus said, “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.”” Matthew 11:28-30
We busy people carry heavy burdens. Out yokes are always shorthand for “heavy burden … heavy cross” – all the “woe is me” God stuff – all that penance and sacrifice stuff.
We have turned suffering for God into an art form!
Yet Jesus says take it and learn … Jesus says it is easy … Jesus says my burden is … Light.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
My burden is “light”
Two hundred and sixty-three times that word is used in the bible. Forty-one of those in the Gospels. And two in the verse above. That is too perverse (!!).
My burden is Light.
No wonder Jesus said “learn from me”. Because this morning I wonder …
If ALL we carry is sunshine, if we are NOT preached at to be busy, if this thing called REST is a place, and an action and a state of mind … and if my YOKE is carrying “Light” …
Then hands up those weighed down by carrying light … hands up those who would even know how to carry “light” (I haven’t a clue).
But wait a moment:
Hands up those who know the phrase “you radiate light”?
Like wot Jesus does. Like wot God does. Is that what Jesus means? That my yoke is not to carry anything – because there is nothing to carry. So if my yoke is to radiate Light – is that not gentle and humble and easy?
And it struck me again today. God Soft Hands Jesus has a thing for the “within stuff”. Always from within. Always it radiates. Always it is Light.
Jesus said “learn from me” –
Well Lord, I have to say I have missed that one all these years –