Thursday, January 31, 2008
No one ever wants to be a burden to their loved ones. We want to be the ones who help, who comfort, who bear the burdens of others. I have been a pastor for a short time, but already, that has been one of the biggest fears I have encountered, "I just don't want to be a burden."
And yet, we are a burden to God. We burdened Him on the cross, we burden Him with our sinful pride, we burden Him by refusing to let ourselves recognize that we are a burden.
I think that is why Jesus emphasized child-like faith. Children are fist and foremost a burden. This is not a criticism of children, it is just the truth. I can see the burden our child puts on my wife's body. I can see the burden I put on my parents as a child. I do not feel bad about that. Children never do feel bad about burdening their parents. It was what we must do. In order to survive childhood, we must be a burden at some point.
This is why a child-like faith is so important. It is not that it is innocent, on the contrary, a child-like faith is one that happily burdens our Lord. A child-like faith is one that looks at the burden of Christ crucified and says, "Thanks, daddy!" A child-like faith lives in the simplicity and peace of depending on another so completely that every thing it does is borne by the love of another. This is the faith we are called to have. In reality, we can have no other faith. Faith that does not burden God is no faith at all. Hence our Lord's words, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (St. Matthew 11:28-30)
And maybe this being a burden is why some find the crucified Lord so disturbing. The thought of burdening another is so utterly repellant to them that they run the risk of missing the beauty of the Gospel. It is always important to remember that Christ Crucified is both Law and Gospel. And this is what we preach.