By Derek Maul
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest” (Matthew 11:29 – The Message).
Each Sunday I try to post something encouraging and invitational to connect people with church (derekmaul.com). It doesn’t matter who you are, regardless of where you stand regarding spirituality or religion, the faith community has something you need – and you have something the community needs. Church is about finally finding our way home.
We were created with the idea of community sown into the essential fabric of our being. For good or for ill the church is how Jesus planned to continue his work. So I will always believe local congregations of stumbling disciples remain the ideal place to explore faith, and to live as followers of The Way.
So come home. And as you come, think about this scripture: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 NRSV).
I always associate this scripture with the evening I walked the shore in Galilee. The serenity arrested me. I sat, looked into the water and on to the surrounding hills, and thought about how I could possibly capture the moment in a photograph. Eventually I balanced my long-suffering Nikon on a rock, set the timer, and launched a pebble into the water.
I like to think of my faith as a “work in progress” example of what Eugene Peterson calls “the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message).
“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life,” Peterson’s Matthew 11 paraphrase invites. It’s not a translation, but this is one of those instances where I think he nails it.
This is foundational. Life with Jesus is full and rich in a way that is not possible for me outside of the incalculable beauty of the community of God’s children. I honestly don’t think any one of us is complete without him. So come home already. Come home.