Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest says the Lord. (Matthew 11:28)
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the term ‘come to Jesus’ and the meanings associated with it. Sometimes they’re necessary. After I had picked up three stray cats, bringing them home with me and my brother, we decided to pollute to air with more decibels of country music, eventually, I threw his teabag out of the sink again and we had a ‘come to Jesus meeting’
For some reason we hadn’t built up enough frustrations with one another to actually have a call to order. I had to bring in stray cats, play piano at all hours, and invite people over to his home without telling him before I could mention that he never did his dishes, watched television so the neighboring zip code could listen along, and let Snoopy bark, pretending to sleep, at three in the morning until I finally had enough and would let him out when it was below 15 degrees out side.
We could walk with these burdens, but as soon as he pretended to throw a cat in the air and shoot it with a shot gun, I opened the bottom cabinet for the sole purpose of kicking it shut, ran out the house and didn’t come back until Jesus called a meeting two and a half days later. It was then and only then that one by one, our frustrations were released and we could actually watch an episode of Seinfeld together in peace.
When I look back, I can’t help but wonder why I waited. I don’t know why when I threw away his teabag from the sink, that I held onto the anger, complained to friends, but for some reason didn’t bother telling him ‘you know, not sure why, it bothers me, but would you mind throwing your teabags away?’ We only lived together for a year and a half, but so much frustration could have been avoided and anger let go if we had ‘come to Jesus’ a bit more frequently.
This Advent, I think we’re invited to come to Jesus, and lay our burdens down. Whether that be with one another, ourselves, or with an organization, we have it within us to speak our mind, air our grievances, and attempt to come together as people. In most of Advent, we wait and prepare, but this gospel emphasizes more immediacy. Come to me. Jesus didn’t say, ‘when you get around to it.’ His promised rest comes immediately upon asking. With such a promise, what are we waiting for?