The Invitation to Peace
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. —Matthew 11: 28-30
The shepherds gained a special place in history on the night of Jesus’s birth, but in their time, they were nothing special as far as society was concerned. The shepherds were the everyman, the working class. They labored under the sun and stars. They tended animals. They probably smelled like the animals they kept. They had no enti- tlement. They were probably looked down on by the religious elite. And they probably would have immediately understood and embraced the agricultural example in Jesus’s teaching years later: the yoke of walking in step with Jesus and following His lead. They would have embraced his invitation to come and find rest. They were weary with the burden of never-ending labor and scratching out a living in the fields.
What an invitation to peace! “For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”
It was no accident that the angels showed up above the fields outside of Bethlehem to make their proclamation of “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” It was a triumphant signal that God was there for the humble and lowly and weary and broken. Those people had a place in the stable to encounter the Messiah.
Jesus’s invitation extends to us today. We can come and experience the deep rest of His peace.
What burden feels heavy right now? What step will you take as Jesus welcomes, “Come to me”?