Summer rest


By Tina Sibbald

School is out; many book vacation time this month, and we enter a mindset very different from the fall, or the Christmas and Easter seasons. Life slows down for a little while, and we rest. Even the Gospel this week has that feel to it.

Ironically, the rest that Jesus offers us involves activity, not passivity. We are invited to take up the yoke of Jesus. In modern day farming it is tractors plowing fields, not oxen, but one can imagine how hard that work was. That doesn’t feel a lot like rest.

Sometimes it takes symbolism from a simpler time to make the point. Imagine being the only one attached to the yoke and pulling the weight of the plow. That plow symbolized life, and life is hard work, especially when we try to do it alone. So when Jesus invites us to share His yoke, do you think it is because He needs us to lighten His burden?

When we truly align ourselves with God, it is Jesus who does the heavy lifting. That’s how we find rest. While other obligations and workloads may lighten during the summer months, what a great opportunity there is to spend time aligning ourselves with, and getting to know Jesus in a fresh new way. Reading an uplifting book, taking a contemplative and prayerful walk in the park, paying a visit to someone who is home-bound, or volunteering at a lunch program are all great ways to find rest, and peace.

The summer season offers us a wonderful opportunity to take a deep breath and pause. Why not invite Jesus to be part of that? You may find more rest and peace than you ever thought possible.

Sunday’s Readings:

Zechariah 9.9-10

Romans 8.9, 11-13

Matthew 11.25-30