Advent 2020 Reflection – Day Six
Day Six – Jeremiah 30 7-9
How awful that day will be!
No other will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
but he will be saved out of it.
8 “‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty,
‘I will break the yoke off their necks
and will tear off their bonds;
no longer will foreigners enslave them.
9 Instead, they will serve the Lord their God
and David their king,
whom I will raise up for them.
I have recently celebrated 25 years as an accredited Local Preacher. During that time I have preached hundreds of sermons, not many of which I can remember! In reading today’s passage. I was taken back to a service I led on a warm summers evening in Knebworth at the Methodist chapel. This was sold, demolished and houses built in its place many years ago. That evening I preached on “my yoke is easy and my burden light”. I was inspired on that evening and continue to be by this image.
A yoke holds the oxen close together, so that their explosive muscular power is co-ordinated and their burden is as light as it possibly can be, whilst pulling the plough or wagon. The farmer wants his oxen to work as hard and as long as they can as efficiently as possible.
Unfortunately we do hear of animals worked beyond endurance whose burden is heavy and unbearable. The prophet speaks into the situation that Israel finds itself, a captive nation forced to work as slaves by uncaring masters. Jeremiah’s imagery speaks of this burdensome yoke being smashed and the people set free.
He goes on to say that the freedom they will receive will give them the ability to serve God.
It is a sad fact of life that we all endure sadness and difficulties. God does not take away these things just because we are his followers but he does walk alongside us. as close as can be, helping us bear our burdens. He also sends us those who will also walk alongside us sharing our burdens with us and charges us to walk alongside others easing the load of their burdens.
Therefore we find comfort in the seeming restraint of the yoke. God tightly bound into our lives helping us carry the burdens of our lives whatever they may be.
As we reflect in our time of silence we think of the heavy burdens we carry, whatever they may be and we ask God to lift them from us. Also for the times when we have know that God, our friends and our families have helped us carry those burdens and give thanks for those times.
I chose as the carol for today “Wild and lone the prophets voice”. The prophets came to challenge the people to return to God and revealed God’s plan for his people. The carol still speaks to us today. That we are called to a choice to do God’s will and in doing so to yield our lives to God’s control. We have to be ready to take up our yoke and “journey on, led by faith on paths untrod” knowing that God travels with us and that we are accompanied in our journey by everyone who helps us to carry our load and who we help carry theirs.
I also chose this carol as it is one we have not sung before and it is a beautiful carol with deep words and a lovely tune.
Loving God we thank you that you are ever present in our lives. In the good times and the difficult. We pray that we may feel that closeness as we are bound to you by our declarations of faith and belief. We ask that we will have an irresistible, overflowing desire to carry out the work you have set for us. Lord, we sometimes think that our burdens are unbearable and we thank you that in those times you lift the yoke with us and send us friends who will gladly walk alongside us bearing our burdens with them.
In this Advent time may we hear the reassurance of the prophets crying out long ago, that we will be rescued from whatever holds us captive. Lord we offer you the things which hold us and which prevent us from serving you with all our strength and might. Break those chains which hold us and free us to serve you in all we say and do. Amen.
All images today are from Pixabay.com free for commercial use no attribution.
Bible passage from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Wild and lone the prophets voice Carl Daw Music:“La Grange” by David Ashley White
Copyright Hope Music
Reflection and Prayers: Chris Hancock
Hatfield Road Methodist Church CCLI: 4955 Streaming: 989812
503 total views, 1 views today