Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is no verse that speaks so well to the heart of Christ as this one. His invitation is so clear. Jesus speaks to that deep part of us that is weary and in need of encouragement. When I think of the rest that I need I go directly to peace - life can be so stressful and peace can be so hard to find. This is the context of Christ's invitation.
When Jesus speaks of himself he gives us a peek into what peace looks like. When he speaks of being gentle and lowly in heart he calls humility to come forth in our lives. The truth is that we will never have peace if we are not humble.. pride will always bring stress to our lives.. peace will accompany an attitude of humility.
The image of a yoke speaks deeply to me about how Jesus wants to walk beside us. In John's gospel he says that he will send the Holy Spirit when he leaves the earth. He uses the Greek word paraklētos to describe the Spirit. The word is translated helper or comforter and carries the idea of one who is called along side of us to help.
Jesus' invitation is not for us to simply come but to come and walk with him. His promise is that when we come he will be there. His assurance is that he will bear our burden and the load we carry will greatly lighten. His pledge is that we will find rest when we come to him.
Lord, I come.