What is weighing you down? What if you knew, you trusted, you believed, that whatever it is that weighs you down God is stronger than that? What if you knew, you trusted, you believed that God would help remove the weight and burden? What if you knew, you trusted, you believed that Jesus could use a song to suggest to you to walk more lightly, to hum it or sing is when you are feeling heavy by all that weighs you down? The weight loss we are working on together that "stuff" that gets in the way of us living freely and lightly. We are going to seek insight, courage and wisdom to “leave what’s heavy behind”. We are going to do this together and ask for God to guide and direct us.
The video above by Birdtalker is meant as an inspiration for you as we walk together these next weeks asking God to help us lose the weight of perfectionism, numbing, scarcity, fear. As we explore letting go of the weight of comparison and anxiety we are going to draw upon the power of the Spirit to help us. We are going to encourage one another to be willing to feel, to learn, to risk being creative and open to new ways to see God at work in our lives and the lives of others.
This weekend we hear in worship Luke’s account of the baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:15-22). After Jesus is baptized and is praying, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove. A voice came from heaven, “you are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased”. We will remember our own baptisms in worship. We can do this at home, at work, at school also. Every time we take a drink or wash our hands it can be a remembrance of baptism. When you take that next sip of water will you remember that these are words God speaks to you also “you are my beloved”?
Take to heart that this is also your truest, deepest name; beloved. Let this be a building block as you open up to God creating a more resilient spirit in you. It takes practice and self-control to not just go straight to the numbing and fear of a moment.
Using a phrase of scripture to replace mental chaos and "the overwhelm" also helps. Below is one of my favorite passages in Matthew. The first version is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and then below it is The Message. At times when I get overwhelmed and want to just numb and check out from the discomfort because it seems like "just too much", I repeat the phrase “living by the unforced rhythm of grace”. Using it to be reminded “there’s grace for that (whatever the “that” is) and also to remember “God’s got this". Repeating the phrase helps me catch my breath. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and repeat ”live by the unforced rhythms of grace”.
“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." Matthew 11:28-30 NRSV
“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.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
Beloved child of God take a breath. Leave what’s heavy behind. Together let’s keep learning from Jesus to live freely and lightly. Jesus’ yoke is easy and the burden is light. You will find rest for your soul. Know this, trust this, believe this- God has the power to heal us, transform us and give us rest. Blessings as your resilient spirit is strengthened.