Firth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 9
July 5, 2020
First Reading: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49,58-67
Canticle: The Song of My Beloved (Song of Solomon 2:8-13)
Second Reading: Romans 7:15-25a
Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19,25-30
O God, who hast taught us to keep all thy commandments by loving thee and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to thee with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel: Matthew 11: 16-19,25-30
Jesus said, “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. ‘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.” 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. 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.
Come To Me
Jesus speaks to the crowds (11:11) that! John the Baptist is the fulfillment of prophecy, of Elijah and he is sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah.
In Jesus’ generation, John’s lifestyle led people to accuse him of having a demon, while Jesus’ habit of eating and drinking with sinners earned him a bad reputation.
His generation, takes offense to both John and Jesus.
The Scribes and Pharisees, are like children in the marketplace who cannot decide what games they want to play.
So, God is revealing these hidden things to the religious leaders, the “wise and intelligent” ones, or at least the scribes and Pharisees thought of themselves this way.
Instead, God reveals these things to infants, Jesus prays to the Father and thanks him.
“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will”.
When he refers to the infants, he is referring to the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the persecuted, all those, Jesus calls blessed. They are the sick, lame, the lepers, the outcast of society.
The tax collector and sinners ARE! the ones to come to Jesus for healing, because they are the ones who listened and the ones who believe.
They are the ones that God refers to as children…. they hear what Jesus is saying, they are not blinded by greed and self-importance.
Jesus reveals this greatest gift to us!
“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.”
This scripture couldn’t be more powerful to me, then now. In the world of the pandemic, the loss of lives, the uncertainly of our future. So many people have lost jobs and businesses.
These words…” Come to me and I will give you rest”, makes me relax in his arms…I know that our faith in Jesus will carry us all through these different and uncertain times and we can find rest for our souls.
Having faith is to believe that someone or something deserves to be trusted.
But faithfulness is also about being present in the love of God who loves us; a God who is present in each and every moment, every event in our lives, even the hard times.
It is refreshing to know that in every moment, God is already present and taking care of things. He has us to turn over our stress, our anxieties or fears.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2)
I have found this time in aloneness a time to self-reflecting and being silent and present in God.
I feel the release, and catch a glimpse of just how much God loves us and it cost nothing.
The Good News
He says, Come to me! No matter what we are going through Jesus invites us to “faith, trust, and hope”
Faith is about being in a storm and knowing Jesus is standing right in the middle.
We don’t have to figure out everything, we just have to let go.
When we center ourselves on Jesus, we have a power that cannot be taken away from us.
We can go to him and rest our souls.
We can be more like children and not worry…be joyful and have faith and trust.
The more we come to Jesus, the more we find peace, his yoke and rest.
Rev. Lola Culbreath