Matthew 23:4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
What are some of the loads people carry and how do we add to their weight? In the verse above Jesus is talking about the religious rulers of his society and the rules they imposed on others. Unfortunately too many outside the church have come to the conclusion that church is all about rules, most of them unspoken but real none the less. Some churches have put loads of guilt on people in an attempt to get them to follow the rules rather than showing them through their words and actions why certain “rules” might be God’s way of having people live better lives. We may not call them rules, we may just imply that there are expectations, and so rather than church being a place people find support those who are already weighed down with debt and packed schedules and work demands and family demands find church to be one more weight of expectations to carry. And then we wonder why they would rather be somewhere else on Sunday morning. I think Jesus wanted the religious leaders to help the people carry their burdens rather than giving them more. This week think about what it might take to make a church be known as a place where people find support in carrying their loads. What loads are the people around you carrying that you could help shoulder?