“Heavy Laden”

“Come unto me, all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  –Matthew 11:28 (KJV)  

I’m not sure I even realized just how heavy laden I’ve been because of Bin Laden.

Funny, the words are pronounced differently, “Layden” and “Lahden”, but they’re spelled the same.   And for this point in history, their meanings seem to coincide.   We’ve been Heavy Laden because of Osama Bin Laden.

And now, the big bad guy is no more.   After so many years of searching for him, the mastermind behind the event of 9/11 and other terrorist acts around the globe is dead. Of course, terrorism isn’t dead.   Wars aren’t over.  But still, this seems like a pretty big deal.  As our president and countless TV journalists have made it clear, “Justice Was Done”.

And now…there’s a feeling of release, for all the families who lost loved ones in terrorist attacks.   For all who have felt scared or angry because he had eluded capture.   For all who died…perhaps tonight they’ll be at rest.  Yes.

If that’s all true, if that burden has been lifted, why am I still feeling overloaded?

Strange, but I think the burden I’m carrying today is Jesus Christ. Yep, that’s right.   Today, being a follower of Jesus feels a little harder than normal to carry.  Because this is the guy that said “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.”   And he’s the guy who said “Love your enemy”.    He’s the guy who allowed himself to be put to death rather than respond with violence.   He’s the one who said, “forgive seventy times seven”. I’m honestly not sure how to process the radicalness of Jesus Christ in the wake of what’s happened.

What about you? Times like this can put our faith to the test. If you’re feeling conflicted today, you’re not alone.   Christians everywhere are struggling whether or not to celebrate the killing of a man, however wicked he was.   Can we celebrate that he will do no more evil?  Can we celebrate a feeling of closure? What would Jesus do?

My advice:  Take the scripture above to heart.   Even as you wrestle with the burden of your faith in the midst of this amazing moment in history, Jesus quietly reminds us that we can rest our hopes and fears in him, and him alone.  That’s a lesson we should never forget.

I don’t know about you, but when I remember that Good News,

It’s a weight off my shoulder.

Have a good week,

Mitch

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