Reflections: September 24, 2020
Thursday of the 15th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Bear one another's burdens. Carry their load. What Paul is getting at with those words is all about the forgiveness of sins. People mess up. They drag their sins around. They all have baggage. We all do. The Lord Jesus came to bear our burdens by bearing our sins. On Calvary, our sins were His sins. Our transgressions were His transgressions. Our iniquities were His iniquities. Our burdens were His to bear and leave behind in the grave when He rose on Easter.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He didn't tell His disciples to go lay more burdens on people. He didn't tell them to straighten up and fix themselves. He didn't tell them to let people know they had better get right with God.
Jesus sent His preachers to proclaim Good News, that sins are forgiven. Debts are cancelled. Burdens have been lifted and set aside. There is nothing for you to carry that is bad. No need to lift up a heavy load of guilt or shame. No need to struggle under the load of hate and anger toward others. No rack of condemnation is laid upon you. You are free.
In that freedom, because you can leap and skip with no hindrance, you now can lighten the load of those around you. Don't let them be weighed down with guilt and shame and the burden of their sins. Help them. Bear with them. Help them drop that heavy heap at the foot of the Cross so it can be Jesus' burden. Don't press down on them to make their lives harder. Help them see that Jesus has set them free as He has set you free. Washed, absolved, and fed, your burdens have been carried by Jesus. So have theirs. So don't pile on more, but lift and help them let go. Everyone has burdens. Jesus came to take our burdens from us, so that we could be set free and rejoice in being saved out from under those troubles once and for all. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord, let me win my foes With kindly words and actions, And let me find good friends For counsel and correction. Help me, as You have taught, To love both great and small And by Your Spirit's might To live in peace with all. ("O God, My Faithful God" LSB 696, st. 4)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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