Galatians 6:2 NIV
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I have a fantastic family and terrific friends. Jenna and I have been blessed to have attended as members several top-notch churches as well as serving in the best as well.
I am thankful and feel blessed that I have such caring and thoughtful friends and family.
I am thankful for all of you and I am aware that many of you are in the midst of burden’s, crisis, and heartache.
When I was teaching 4th grade in 2005 at a private Christian school I arranged a field trip to the Wayside Cross Mission in Pueblo on fourth street. It was a deeply moving and powerful field trip-we were able to tour the facility, help serve a meal, and listen to a guest preacher.
As our time at the mission ended the director opened up a time for the kids and parent volunteers to ask questions.
I honestly don’t remember any of the questions but I vividly remember one answer. The answer has stuck with me throughout my ministry and life since.
The director, in talking about the men and women he saw coming through the homeless shelter there, told the children that nearly all of them had one thing in common: Nearly all of the homeless he met with had all hurt, alienated, stolen, and otherwise forced their family and friends to cut them out of their lives. They had no one left to turn to because they had ruined their relationships.
He asked a question. If any of you got into trouble would your family help you? Of course, they all said yes. I even nodded my head yes. I remember immediately reflecting back to just a few years earlier when I was the recipient of grace from Jenna’s family when I found myself without anywhere to go after being kicked out of my apartment by my roommate.
My mind immediately then went to the Parable of the Lost Son. I felt bad for these men and women who had no more friends or family to greet them at the end of the long driveway.
No parties to be thrown if they were to return home. I realize as well-perhaps this had all happened and, unlike the Prodigal Son, they still continued to hurt, steal, and alienate their families and friends. I don’t know.
I am not sure what the men and women had done to be cut off from their families and I understand the need to do that in many cases. I don’t judge the families or friends any more than I do those who betrayed them.
Our scripture today reminds us though that if we want to fulfill the great commandments-love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and being-and love each other equally-we need to help carry each other’s burdens. We must not be blind to the suffering of our loved ones (friend or family) or even our fellow church members.
One of my favorite poems is from Robert Browning Hamilton- “I walked a mile with Pleasure; She chatted all the way; But left me none the wiser For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow; And ne’er a word said she; But, oh! The things I learned from her, When Sorrow walked with me.”
When we walk with our loved ones through their good and bad times we learn a great deal about ourselves and the world we live in.
I pray we all step forward into each other’s burdens to lift each other up. My grandmother-who survived the bombing of London in WWII before marrying my grandfather and moving to America- used to say two things-many hands make little work and it takes a village.
We are stronger together as the body of Christ. Let us pray for each other, lift each other up, and help carry one another’s burden’s just as Christ calls us all to do. This is one way we can be a light in the darkness for so many people.
May it be so,
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