On this Independence Day weekend, we are reminded that our country was founded on the ideals of independence and free will. The colonists not only wanted to be free of England, but the new country beckoned and promised that those who worked hard would prosper through their own will and actions. It is a “debt economy” where we take up a single yoke and trudge through life trying to earn our way to prosperity with success measured by the size and number of our possessions. But it is not a light yoke that we bear; it often becomes burdensome and inevitably kills us both in spirit and body. The harder we try on own sheer will, the more we seem to fail.
Words from the sermon delivered by The Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess yesterday caught my attention, “It is in this ‘debt economy’ where relationships are reduced to transactions and when the transaction is no longer beneficial to both parties, the relationship dissolves.”
I thought of both my marriages that were built on convenience rather than a higher calling. When the transactions were no longer beneficial, the relationships dissolved.
Kristine challenged that we need to replace our “economy of independence” with the “economy of gift”. When we begin to accept gifts, we live into freedoms and graces that can’t be earned, like peace, rest, love, belonging, and joy.
It sounds easy enough to accept gifts, but we often become trapped between gratitude and resentment. After all, don’t we want to have to earn our way and be rewarded for it? Doesn’t it satisfy our deep down desire to prove that we are better than another?
It is an immeasurable pleasure that Jesus has in mind for us: a double yoke with Him where His gifts to us are freely given. Matthew writes in Chapter 11 that Jesus invites us all, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.”
Can we accept the humility of being loved?
Blessings, my friend,
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