Called to Bear Burdens
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
Reflection & Pastoral Prayer:
During worship this past Sunday, Bob led us through a remarkable and inspiring reflection of Galatians; a passage where Paul calls us towards the higher action of gentleness and challenges the rhetoric of envy, contempt and conflict. The challenges we will face, he promises, will be mounted through the mutual support of one another in community. Based on that text, I offered this pastoral prayer which Bob asked me to share as one of our devotionals. So in a spirit of prayer, may you be nourished by these words:
God of gentleness, stir us from our status quo. We look around our world, we listen to the rhetoric of our news, our social media feeds and our grocery store lines and hear echoes of what Paul warned us of. We see things like self-conceit, we see provocation for the purpose of creating conflict and unrest, we see envy running like a wild river. We see and hear little of the spirit of gentleness which your servant promised; and we pray that you awaken us into action so that we can do the work to which we are called and not be passive hopers that the word will come into fruition within us.
Our faith in you, our promise to follow your Son and his way, has called to a higher standard; a standard where we are not called to provoke but we are called to gentleness and called to teach that in others. We are called to bear one another’s burdens, we are called to be a community. We need the boost that our brothers and sisters offer now more than ever O God.
This week we received news that our public schools will not return to in person classes this semester. We want everyone to be safe, but we are exhausted. Nothing is normal. For families who have been working and homeschooling and parenting all under the same roof for five months now without respite, this is the equivalent of burying the light at the end of the tunnel. We need a boost. We need each other.
For those who have spent the last five months in isolation this announcement shows the inevitable delay of other sectors of their life re-opening. We hear the promise of community, that we will bear one anothers’ burdens, that we will call one another to gentleness and yet we feel so far apart. Remind us Lord that the church was always a people and never a building. Help us to show up, in the many ways we might do so safely. Help us to show grace; to ourselves, to others, to those who differ in opinion.
You never promised us that life on earth would be free of struggle and conflict, but you did give us the tools to crawl forward; one another. Help us to fall into that net which you in your love and wisdom weaved for us. The net of one another. Amen.
Focus: supporting one another, gentleness, community
Author: Darcy Crain