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”
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was about to start teaching religion to the 7th & 8th graders at St. John’s Lutheran School in Mayville, WI, where I was senior pastor. Instead, we watched in growing horror the events that unfolded on that fateful day.
Later that morning, I met with the other LCMS pastors in my circuit – I was the circuit visitor – and we prayed to God for all those involved.
At lunch time the local radio station asked me to go on the air with their news director to talk about what was happening and to lead a prayer live on the air.
Our church was opened all day and night on September 11th and 12th. People in our town gathered at all hours to pray.
On Thursday, September 13, I met with all the clergy in Mayville and we developed a community prayer service to be held in the gym of Mayville High School on the afternoon of Sunday, September 16.
It was a long week for the Blonski household. As it turned out, my dad had been in Chicago on business on September 10 and ended up being stranded because all flights were – as you might recall – grounded for a week. He was able to stay with us for a week in Mayville.
As I look back on that week, I realize that my sons have virtually no memory of those attacks. Eddie was in kindergarten and Kurt & Mark were in diapers! They did enjoy having their grandfather visit them for a whole week – as he was living in California at the time – but they didn’t know why he was visiting us for a whole week!
Those who are 15 years and younger were born in a post-9/11 world. Think about that for a moment.
When I was growing up, my grandparents could tell me exactly “where they were” on December 7, 1941. And my parents could tell me exactly where they were “when Kennedy was shot.”
Now my generation can tell our kids exactly “where we were on 9/11.”
The Christian Church has seen a lot in the last 2000 years. But here in the United States, the Church and her mission has been forever touched by the events of fifteen years ago.
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod learned a lot about what we think of prayer and who we pray with. We learned a lot about our specific mission and ministry in this country and around the world – especially in the war zones that were created by 9/11 – Iraq and Afghanistan.
But what, exactly, have we learned?
Jesus says, “learn from me.” Jesus has a lot to teach us. Which is why He’s often called “Rabbi” or “Teacher” in the Bible.
Jesus came to teach us. He came to teach us that He is the only Savior from sin, death, and the devil.
And everything else Jesus taught is based on this!
And everything we learn is based on this!
Learning from Jesus is based on the fact and the truth that He is our only Savior from sin, death, and the devil. In Matthew 11, Jesus warns us that a “yoke” is involved.
No, not the center of an egg kind of yoke. Jesus is talking about the kind of yoke that is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.
This sounds like a lot of work. Back-breaking, hard, and unpleasant work! But it really isn’t!
This yoke is given us so we can work together in God’s Kingdom. Work together to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
We learn from Jesus so we can proclaim Jesus.
In this post-9/11 world, it has become clear – or more clear – that now is the time to share the Gospel. Now is the time to love our neighbors – no matter who they are or what they believe.
And if they believe something or in someone other than Jesus Christ, now is the time to share the love of Jesus and what we learn from Him – that He is the only Savior from sin, death, and the devil.
So let us take up our yoke and learn from Jesus.
©2016 True Men Ministries