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‘Come unto me’

July 19, 2017
By PASTOR ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle

Jesus said: "Come unto me" (Matt. 11:28). The very sound of these words are a benediction and the peace-creating cathedral bell of a person's life-pilgrimage. These words are the great invitation to a burdened soul.

Jesus says: "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Yet, we continue to fill ourselves with anxiety, fear and worry about almost anything and everything.

An elderly woman who resides in an assisted-care facility answered my question: "How are you feeling?" by saying: "Oh, I'm just worried sick!"

"What are you worried about? You look about as good as can be expected at your age. Are they taking good care of you?" "Yes, they are."

"Are you in any pain?"

"No."

"Well what are you worried about?"

The lady leaned back in her rocking chair, took a deep breath and said: "Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone to heaven. I'm worried that they're all wondering where I went."

Yes, we worry about almost anything and everything: The burden of guilt from a broken conscience over ethical and moral lapses. Worry over the burden of guilt from not keeping every religious rule that man has made. Worry over health, financial or relationship concerns. Some people are even worrying themselves to death over the fact that the Philadelphia Phillies might lose the most games ever in their history.

When you're weary from your fretting and sweating over life's concerns or over eternal concerns, Jesus gives the invitation: "Come unto me you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30).

The Greek word translated "easy" does not mean "free of effort or trouble." The Greek word "easy" literally means "custom made." It has been said that in the years prior to His ministry that Jesus, the carpenter, was one of the master yoke-makers in the Nazareth area. Customers would come from miles around, and Jesus would measure the team of oxen, their height, their width, the space between them, and the size of their shoulders. Within a week, the team would be brought back and He would carefully place the newly made yoke over their shoulders, watching for rough places, smoothing out the edges and fitting them perfectly to this particular team of oxen. That's the yoke Jesus invites us to take. It is tailor-made to fit exactly in your life and to bring rest to your weary soul, and get this, it is designed for two, and your yoke-partner is none other than Christ Himself. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is a burden-bearing Christ.

As our Lord, He actually solicits our burdens saying: "Come unto me and I will give you rest." To God, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are always priceless in His sight.

"Come unto me!" Isn't that the sweetest sound you have ever heard?

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information about programs offered.

 
 

 

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