At times, we keenly feel the devastation caused by war: battles in far off lands and sometimes even battles in our community, in our workplace or in our families. In any war, the weapons vary from guns, knives and explosive devices to more subtle weapons like harassment, insulting behaviour and unkindness.
Stress, anxiety and fear are prevalent in the world. The bad news fills the pages of our newspapers. As the first century philosopher Seneca wryly noted: ’Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for crisis’.
In a burdened world, it can be difficult to believe in the real possibility that we can be unburdened. The Good News is that we can be. But, it takes a truly powerful King to achieve it.
What kind of King could bring an end to the use of weapons across the face of the earth and alleviate our burdens? The answer is given to us in Scripture. Our Saviour is meek and just, gracious and merciful, kind and compassionate, faithful and holy.
What does this remarkable King expect from us? This is a much harder question to answer because it invites us to look deeply at our own lives. What we find is not always flattering. Thankfully, we are not imprisoned by what we find. There is a way forward.
Sometimes we search in the wrong places and it is tempting to think that knowledge alone can save us. But, we know from Scripture that it is not enough to be wise and learned. Something else is required.
In this life, we can become overly proud of our worldly achievements and this can blind us to reality. Jesus does not do flattery. In fact, Jesus does the opposite. He praises his Heavenly Father for choosing the little ones, the ones that are not blinded by their own pride.
Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon us and to learn from him. He tells us how we can unburden ourselves and find rest. He gives us the answer to the most deeply personal question of all time. The solution lies in the fact that Jesus is meek and humble of heart. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also reminds us that the meek are blessed.
As usual, Jesus tells us the truth that he personified rather than giving us some easy answer. Our Saviour asks us to see through the shallow notion of self-sufficiency. Waking up to this reality is about a letting go rather than a frantic search.
When we see all the connections that sustain us, we let go of a false pride. In its absence, we make room for a tenderness of inner Spirit that allows the love of God to shine through our lives.
For many of us, it is no small thing to become small. It takes practice and patience; patience with oneself and patience with others. Taking on the yoke of Christ does not happen in a day. But it is as important today as it was when the Gospel was first preached.
We all know little ones, people who are humble and kind. They’re not usually dominant on television or evident on social media. Often, they’ve suffered but God’s goodness shines through them.
And, it is important to remember that even when we fail, or fail again and again, we have help. Christ makes it possible for us to become lights in a fractious world. Forgiveness, kindness and thanksgiving play their part. The Saints help us with this.
When we truly see the victory won by Christ the King, we welcome him by praising and blessing his name to the ends of time. Like the little ones, we feel a strong sense of belonging to the Spirit of God who becomes the source of our life. It is through this Spirit that we find rest as beloved children of God.
Through Christ, we can increase our joy in God and more deeply appreciate the mysteries of the Kingdom. This is a sure path to peace.