My favourite Bible passage is from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 11, verses 28 to 30. Jesus gives us all a simple, sincere, significant invitation:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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,” (New International Version).
Those words of welcome have had a profound impact upon me throughout my life, particularly when I was going through times of distress and heartache, doubt and confusion. Always, they drew me back to my Saviour, my Lord and my God.
Recently I read that passage in Eugene Peterson’s version of the Bible, The Message. It was so refreshing!
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I sure have been “burned out on religion”, well and truly. But what struck me even more was the intent of God’s invitation to “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” That is such an exquisite expression of God’s love, kindness and care—the “unforced rhythms of grace”. It is as though he has all the time in the world to bathe us with his love, his grace and his mercy.
“Unforced rhythms of grace.”
May that be our reality as we nestle into the arms of our loving God and experience the joy of knowing him more fully and more deeply than we’ve ever known before.