One of the most enduring memories of campus life is the backpack - the thing that carries those infernally large Chemistry textbooks and complete works of Shakespeare. It's funny though, isn't it? We pick it up every morning, carry it around with us all day, maybe making the odd comment of how heavy it is, and then we drop it at the end of the day....just to pick it up again the next morning.
I also think we pick up another backpack every day - one that carries burdens and toils that we were never meant to carry. Toil of p-sets and assignments; labors to find peace and joy in the midst of our life; burdens of family expectations and pressures; heavy loads of shame, guilt and sin from our past and maybe hurts from our present.
And Jesus speaks in to the midst of this:
"Come to me, all of you who labor and are heavy laden with burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for my burden is easy and my yoke is light."
What do we see in this scripture?
An invitation - come to me
An invitation to lay down the things we're carrying that we never should be carrying - all of you who labor and are heavy laden
An invitation to lay down things we're carrying and find rest - I will give you rest
But here's the crux - how do we obtain this rest?
An invitation to be yoked to Jesus - take my yoke upon you
An invitation to learn of who he is; to pray, study, walk with - learn of me
And then we will have rest
What are you carrying that you shouldn't be carrying? What's too heavy for you?
Jesus invites you to come, give them to him, but then walk with him, allow him to speak to you, to be your lord and savior, and through this there is a promise of rest.