The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, October 18, 2023, was written by Richard L. Whitaker of North Carolina.
1 My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. 4 All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor's work, will become a cause for pride. 5 For all must carry their own loads. 6 Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. 7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. 8 If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.
Galatians 6:1-10 NRSV
I had no Idea when we bought our home that there were so many larger rocks submerged under the soil. Trying to regrade and landscape the yard to create a rock garden proved quite formidable. I had only a shovel and a wheelbarrow - both inadequate for the heavy rocks I tried to lift by myself. It was not until I called on my landscaper and his assistant that the biggest rocks could be unearthed and relocated. I was grateful for those who helped me build my rock garden, which is now filled with rocks of assorted shapes and hues.
How often we struggle alone to bear grief, pain, loneliness, anger, or regret. But our Christian faith is not meant to be lived in isolation; we are called to lift one another's burdens. Only when others have reached out to me, or I have sought help, have my burdens been made lighter. Today someone may need our help - we may not even be aware of it. But when we choose to make a phone call or send an e-mail, a text, or a handwritten note, we may become a burden-sharer. No matter the method we choose in bearing another's burdens, we are fulfilling Christ's command.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
I invite you to re-read Richard's reflection, challenging yourself to partner with God to help someone in need.
O God, help us to follow the example of Christ by helping to bear the burdens of others. Amen.