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Cast Your Burdens

May 20, 2020

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

One of my Zoom calls yesterday was with an amazing group of leaders at Grace. We were meeting to discuss how to tie together the efforts of the Social Ministry, Benevolence, and Peace and Justice Committees as we respond to the ongoing needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. I was excited for this meeting (and the plans being put in place are good and faithful – stay tuned!) but I had a hard time gearing up for it. When I got on the call, it was hard to focus. Someone said, “Hi Pastor!” Without really thinking about it, I replied, “Hi. I’m sorry. I’m having a bit of a pandemic day.”

And that’s what it was. I was anxious. Unsettled. Not about anything in particular; I just couldn’t shake the feeling. Focusing on ministry with faithful fellow Christians helped a great deal. By the end of the day, I had found my center. But man, yesterday was hard.

This Sunday we continue our journey through 1 Peter. This week’s reading has back-to-back verses that each contain a Bible camp song that I’ve known forever:

Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord. And he shall lift you up, higher and higher.

Cast your burdens unto Jesus, for he cares for you.

Humble thyself. Cast your burdens.

I think yesterday was a day I forgot (with a little help from the devil, also mentioned by Peter in this section of his letter) that it’s not all up to me. I don’t need to pridefully carry my burdens. I can cast them at the Lord’s feet. After all, he’s already saved the world. That’s not my job. I just need to follow.

I am thankful for the members Grace, especially those yesterday who heard me and thanked me for being open about the day’s challenges with them. Naming it helped me begin to release it, and perhaps it bonded us together a bit before getting down to business. It seems folks could relate.

The anxiety that pounces on me from time to time is not a diagnosed mental illness, so I cannot related directly to what many of you may be going through. But I am praying for you. Remember, Peter doesn’t write that you shouldn’t be anxious. He simply invites you to let Jesus help carry your anxiety. There is help available. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a good place to start. Or give me a call. I’m not a professional counselor, but I will listen to and pray with you.  You’re not alone.

Today is a better day for me. If today is not off to a great start for you, be patient and graceful with yourself. Pandemic days come and go. If you need help, reach out. Consider this an invitation.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of peace, you have come to bear our burdens. To lift us up. To live humbly in the shadow of the cross. Help us to bear one another’s burdens. Give us patience with ourselves and with each other. Bless the work of your church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: My trusty Seagull guitar, which helps me remember God’s Word.

From → COVID-19

One Comment
  1. Susan Messerli permalink

    Your words “Be well, friends. You are loved.” are a daily comfort to me, Thank you for them .

    Thank you for your mini homily as well.

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