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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, July 3, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Galatians 6:1–6

My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads. Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. (NRSV)

What is the burden you bear today?

Difficulty in a relationship? Illness? Problems at work? Worries about money? Loneliness? Family tensions? Feeling powerless in a world with seemingly insurmountable problems? Frailty of someone you love? Shame about something you’ve done? Disappointment over a situation about which you had high hopes?

Name it. It’s OK. It’s not whining.

Probably there are multiple burdens. Can you choose one, maybe the one that feels heaviest and makes joy seem like a luxury you’re not entitled to, and tell someone about it? This is hard. Our culture tells us that big girls (and certainly big boys) don’t cry and that we should fake it till we make it. Losers don’t get “Likes” on Facebook. We should know better, do better, be better. Perhaps all that the one person you tell will be able to do is listen. Or maybe there is some assistance she or he can offer. But until you share that burden, you won’t know.

Then tomorrow, or maybe the next day, pay special attention to the burden that someone else is carrying. (See first long paragraph above.) How can you help? Might you ask? Have you a few minutes to sit with them so that they won’t feel so all alone?

That is the Christian community to which we care called, whether at home or school or work or in our neighborhood. It demands honesty and vulnerability and buckets of patience. And love.

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

God of freedom and truth, grant me the grace to help bear the burdens of others and the humility to acknowledge my own. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Susan Quaintance, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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