Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
This past Sunday we joined with other churches in the area in what we call The Community Freedom Celebration. We had worship in the park and then a wonderful picnic together. As you can imagine, this required a lot of setting up and tearing down. How great it was to watch people who barely knew each other carrying the burdens of tables and chairs and coolers and ice. Earlier in this letter Paul warns his readers, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (5:15). The people he was writing to were very concerned about doing the right thing, about obeying the rules, but they were using their obedience to the rules as a way of putting others beneath them, causing conflict and competition. Here Paul restates the idea in a positive fashion; instead of trying to be better than others and showing them the way, walk alongside of them and help them carry their burdens. People all around us, and we ourselves, carry burdens of physical and emotional pain, of loss and fear of loss, of shame and guilt and self-contempt. The world, and too often the Christians in it, seems only too ready to point out how we have brought much of this on ourselves; how we have been stupid or lazy or naïve. But there are those who stand beside us in our pain and loss and guilt just helping us move to the next step along the journey and they do so because of Christ. How might you be one of them this week?