“Please pull your mask over your nose,” the flight attendant told the passenger across the aisle. An intercom announcement followed, “Everyone, wear your mask at all times, covering both nose and mouth.” I found the flight tedious. Flying during a pandemic can be stressful. Many safety rules continually point to the pandemic threat.

Just as these restrictions and rules can feel like a burden, with life challenges draining, in Jesus’ day, scribes and Pharisees placed rules and regulations on people. As a result, the people were oppressed with a sense of despair. They were given so many things to do that they were unable to measure up.

Jesus saw the burdens that were put on the people and knew how weary they felt. He called the people to come to him instead.

A yoke held two oxen in place so they could step together, keeping a rhythm going in their work. Jesus invites us to take on his yoke. As we step together with him in the power of the Spirit, we can walk a steady pace in life. Jesus doesn’t demand or bully us into living. The humility and gentleness of Jesus makes walking with him appealing.

Then, he promises something which we truly need. He says we will find rest for our soul. He wants to remove the burdens and weariness that we feel from living in a time of a pandemic. Jesus, who is gentle, offers a soulful rest.

Lord God, remind us to come to you when we feel weary and burdened. May we experience your soulful rest. Thank you for being a gentle God. Amen.

Throughout This Day: Invite the Spirit to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, aware that he is walking with you and empowering you to obey him, no matter what the circumstance.

Tags: Daily Devotional Matthew 11
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