Jesus ultimate invitation
Matt. 11: 29-30(the Message)“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 looked up the word ‘forced’ and I saw a pattern begin to form. Forced means compelled, obligatory, mandatory. Then it shifts to become strained, unnatural, artificial and insincere. From there we find knocked down, kicked in., wrung out and squeezed. Does that sound like your day, week or life? Yet Jesus calls us to a different way to walk in our hurried forced world. He calls us to learn the unforced rhythms of His grace.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Don’t you like the sound of that phrase? In our busy lifestyles this seems such an impossible thing. Yet, He invites us and welcomes us into that place with Him. A place in our spirit to rest, a place in our soul to breath, and a place to stop, look and listen, even if just for a few minutes.
Stop: Just stop! Just be. Believe it or not, God can handle the universe and even your problems for five or ten minutes without your help. Meditate on this phrase and pray, “Lord, help me learn the unforced rhythms of your grace.” Jesus stopped. In the midst of saving the world, feeding the hungry, healing the sick and teaching the disciples, he stopped. He stopped and blessed the bread. He stopped and noticed the lepers. He stopped to watch and see what His Father was doing, then he knew what he should do. He stopped, learned and walked in the unforced rhythms of grace.
Look: Open your eyes and REALLY see. Do you have a small child? Look at the intricacy of his tiny hands and toes. Can you look out a window and see the atmosphere and think, “Thank you for the abundance of oxygen today, enough for all of us and more besides! Thank you for the clouds that bring rain. Thank you for the beauty of the flowers, the many shades of green, the colors of the birds.” Look. Jesus did. He saw the beauty of the lilies. He saw the harvest of the fields. He saw the woman at the well. He saw the man up in the tree. He saw. He stopped, looked and saw in the unforced rhythms of grace.
Listen. What do you hear? The cries of a baby? The laughter of a child? The chuckle of an older person as they remember? The bird songs, the chatter of people on the street, the whir of a machine? The soft, quiet voice of God? Jesus listened. He heard all of these sounds and more. He heard the voice of His Father thunder as he was baptized. He heard the sounds of souls crying out for freedom. He heard the wails of death and the sighs of hopelessness. But he also heard the shouts of joy and celebration of births. And he heard the explosion of resurrection power that was coming.
He stopped. He saw. He listened and heard. Yet he never let any of these cause him to be out of rhythm with heaven because he had learned the unforced rhythms of grace.
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.”