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One could say I’m rather stuck on a theme carried over from last week’s messages as I see and hear short but powerful texts from Scripture. It’s the power of words that makes me stop and say to no one in particular in the ethers of my bedroom, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before!” At other times it’s the tenor of the entire cluster of readings that wakes me up to the obvious, reminding me of something I have most likely known for decades. Both experiences speak this morning.

  1. Throughout today’s texts (IS 35: 1-10, PS 85: 10-14 and LK 5:17-26) there is a consistent feeling of promise. God is working on physical wholeness and psycho-spiritual healing for all creation – not just humanity, and the urging not to be afraid is palpable. Assurances abound that God will do this!
  2. In the “never heard it before” category is the gospel acclamation that says, “Behold the king will come, the Lord of the earth, and he himself will lift the yoke of our capacity.” I learned long ago that when Jesus told the people to take his yoke upon them, he was speaking metaphorically of the burdens that they carried, those he shared with us being lighter than those demanded by the laws of the religious leadership. Not so long ago I heard capacity defined not just as “the maximum amount that something can contain” like water in a bottle or pain the body. Rather another nuance was added, i.e., “the ability or power to do, experience or understand something.” For me, that moved the definition from one of passivity to active participation. This morning I am aware, therefore, that not only are my burdens light because I do not carry them alone but, in addition, I have the offer of laying them down totally if I am willing to work on expanding my capacity for living fully.