Pastoral Reflection 1.24.16

Dear church,

As we are talking today about God meeting our deepest desires, it hit me during our community group discussion that Jesus has not just said “come and find rest” alone, but that his “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light.”

What did our Lord mean? The term for “yoke” in Matthew 11 was often used when referring to a body of teaching or discipleship. Jesus has saved us, yes. But in saving us, He has saved us to become disciples who follow His teachings.

We will be taught one way or another; either by worldly principles which cause us to seek our own glory, or by our Lord who seeks to bring relief from oppressive instruction.

That’s what this entire series is about....replacing what we often seek to make ultimate (our idols of control, approval, and comfort) with a far more satisfying ultimate aim: to seek God and to learn from Him the way we were meant to live.

It seems odd or counterproductive that our good would be found in spending time in communing with God through prayer and the Bible, in a community group full of people we have a hard time getting to know, or by taking time out each week to teach English to someone in our community.

Certainly Jesus also was a puzzling figure to his contemporaries as he made room for children to interrupt his “more important” duties, or decided that it was better to lose sleep and spend an entire evening on a mountain with His Father.  But herein lies the secret to the truest satisfaction we can find: it is in remembering that we are beloved children of God, redeemed by Him, and that we have been called to throw off the oppressive yoke of teaching that implores us to put our own desires and needs first.  Life is not found in completing our “mini-kingdom of existence” we are trying to build. It is found in participating in the larger kingdom out there.

Let’s follow our Lord’s life-giving teachings this week and press further into Him and those He’s called us to!

-Mike Hong
 Pastor of Worship & Justice

Mike Hong