Week 23 Saturday

A Light Burden

Today’s scripture selection: Galatians 4-6

Key verse: Galatians 6:2

A long time ago; what seems a hundred years ago, really – I learned to play a piece on the piano. It was about a long, winding road, leading to who knows where…and about how the one I might carry “ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”

I know – I just dated myself.

But it’s more than just a good pop song from the past. It’s a basic philosophy, expressed in many places, in many ways, in the Bible.

Bearing one another’s burdens, according to the apostle Paul, “fulfills the law of Christ.”

I don’t take that to mean, so much, that it is some sort of legalistic requirement of Christians if they want their just reward. Rather, I see it as the opportunity that following Christ provides for us. It’s a chance to live life by a totally different code than the one the world calls wise or prudent.

Bearing one another’s burdens – even “carrying” another who can’t make it on his or her own, at least for awhile – that’s not a law – it’s a privilege.

And, it seems to me that the longer I live, the more I appreciate how much it is a matter of simple reciprocation.

There are times when I am strong and capable and sure and full of faith – and those are the times I can “carry” someone else’s burdens.

There are other times – when I am weak and incapable and unsure and lacking in faith – and those are the times I need someone to carry me and my burdens for awhile.

Somehow, it all works out in the end. And, miraculously, through the grace of God, we all get to the end of that “long and winding road.”

Watch for those opportunities this week. Either to carry, or be carried, if need be.

Either way – you’ll learn something about how God has it all planned out. We are to do, and be, for each other – just as Christ himself was and is – for us.

Prayer: Lord, down that long, winding path, help me to carry another’s burdens – just as You have often carried mine. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: