Warning: this is gonna be a post about religion. My own weird brand of nontheist Christian Quakerism. I'm not a very bible person. I am (just to confuse people) a Jesus person. As a heathen/atheist/nontheist/nonbeliever it is somewhat incomprehensible to most people (Christian and non) that Jesus is one of my favorite historical figures.
For whatever reason, I was drawn early on to messages that Jesus had in the bible. And that he studied and was a scholar and a teacher and thought deeply about things that everyone else just took for granted. He was a skeptic. Not a rule follower. Kind to people who were different. But in a way that made him kind of a pain in the ass, too.
It was unimportant to me whether he said exactly those words written in the bible in red letters. Because it seems pretty likely that what through hundreds of years of oral tradition and multiple translations there is very little we know about what precisely this Jesus fellow said. The messages are what drew me. And the character (as in a figure in literature) of Jesus.
Right. What a preamble.
Here is the meat of the story. During meeting today there were a number of surprisingly bibleful messages. The one going on in my head, that didn't rise to the level of vocal ministry was something nebulous about "take up your cross and follow me." I kept thinking about the implications of lugging around the instrument of my death... and maybe that is something that we carry with us... but whatever nebulous thought it was it didn't make it to any sort of coherent message.
But then there was a bibleful message from someone else, who had been pondering the idea of a yoke being easy and a burden being light...
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. (Matthew 11:28)
And the idea that what if "light" as in the light of god, or the light within or that of god within everyone (Quakerspeak) is a BURDEN.
What if it isn't that the burden isn't heavy, but that carrying this light within is a burden? What if it is our lot to carry this light and bear it to other people.
I have not felt light lately. Not felt much connection with the light either. So perhaps the idea of light as a burden appealed to me.
Light is my burden.
Quaker, teacher, parent,