Reflections: September 13, 2021
Monday of the 15th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
Listen to today's Audio Reflection
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 someone else's overstuffed backpack? Listen to someone else's problems? Help somebody else with their problems? You've got enough to worry about with your own mix of school, work, and family challenges. How can you have time for someone else's problems and troubles? Plus, the Bible says that Jesus fulfilled the Law, so what's with this "fulfill the Law of Christ?"
Oh yes, Christ DID fulfill the Law. Even the Law that says you're supposed to love your neighbor! He fulfilled it, not only by doing it, but also by bearing the full measure of its judgment upon sinners when He suffered on the Cross. Your sins are forgiven. The Law of God no longer can condemn you.
But there is another law. It's the Law of Christ by which He, bearing the burden of our sins, teaches us to bear one another's burdens. This is not a Law given for YOUR benefit, as if you could work your way to heaven! That's taken care of by Jesus! No, this Law is for the good of your neighbor. Your parents, your brothers or sisters, your friends, coworkers and classmates--THEY need your help. They need your help bearing the burdens of their work and lives and struggles, too.
After all, it's why the Lord has rescued you. It's why He has baptized you and made you His own, so that you will belong to others in serving them. It's why He absolves you of your sins, so that you will not hold the sins of others against them. It's why He lives in you by His Body and Blood, so that you will be knit together with others in the Body of Christ, where you learn to love and serve others.
Oh, you won't always do a good job. You'll try to bear someone's burdens and end up dropping them on their foot! That's why we live in Christ, to be forgiven for what we mess up and to have Him do in us what we would never do on our own. Or, to put it another way, the Christ who has borne the burden of your sins now bears the burdens of others--through you! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O grant that nothing in my soul May dwell, but Thy pure love alone; Oh, may Thy love possess me whole, My joy, my treasure and my crown! All coldness from my heart remove; My ev'ry act, word, thought be love. ("Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me" LSB 683, st.2)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in McHenry, IL.
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