Rev. Jenny Smith Walz explains what it means to be yoked with Jesus and observe the Sabbath. Rev. Walz was preaching on Sunday, October 24, at PUMC on the topic "The Power of Embracing," from our new worship series "Feeding the Flock," based on Scripture from "Mathew 11:28-12:13.
"For many, the yoke that comes with Jesus is transformational and life-giving. With Jesus, they feel included, loved, and accepted for who exactly they are. For others, it is a burden that feels too heavy to bear, even though Jesus means it to be freeing. Some will work with Jesus for a little bit but then decide it isn't for them, at least not yet. Some will work with Jesus for a while but have to go a different way. There are even some who struggle with understanding what this means," explains Pastor Jenny. "As we put on Jesus' yoke, he will walk alongside us and share our burden. But it's okay if we are not yet ready to be yoked to Jesus. There's always room for people to come in and come back," she concluded.
Pastor Jenny tells us, "Jesus' mission was about giving rest that included all people, even rest for the land and the animals. For Jesus, Sabbath was a time of feasting, a time of connection, a time of putting our whole trust in God, trusting that for this day, God would provide. We stop working so we can put that trust into action."
"Jesus kept inviting people into the feast of the Sabbath, and he did heal and feed people. Yet, he kept getting into trouble for this, along with other things like who he ate with, when he ate, and what he ate," observes Pastor Jenny. She, however, notes, "Sabbath is about freeing us to be God's people. On the Sabbath, we gather together and feast on God's goodness, on God's love, and we feast in the presence of one another."
Pastor Jenny encourages us, "Jesus' yoke is not always easy. Let us work and walk with him anyway. He will feed and heal us, and we will experience real rest. "
Written by Isabella Dougan