All during our setup and worship service, I left the lights on in the church truck. And I drained the battery doing it. I didn’t realize it until almost everyone had left for the day. I turned the ignition and couldn’t get it started. No radio, either. I looked over at the head light lever and, sure enough, it was still on. On the bright side, that’s all it was. But the bummer was that now I needed a jump.
God provides. One of our leaders was still in the parking lot and drove up. I hopped in their car and headed over to my house. I grabbed the jumper cables, they drove me back to the truck, and we were able to get it started. It got me thinking about how many times they’ve been there for me, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in simple ways. It got me thinking about the many times others have come alongside me to help me out.
And it reminded me of Galatians 6:2 where Paul says “share each other’s burdens” and then he uses a very interesting phrase… “and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” That’s an interesting phrase for Paul. And for Christians in general. Much of what Jesus says is that while He did not come to “abolish” the Law, He did come to “fulfill the Law.” In a way, the old rules and consequences from the Sinai Covenant with Israel are completed in Jesus and don’t apply quite the same way. And Paul spends a lot of time showing how “the Law” brings death but Jesus brings life.
So, it’s an interesting choice of words. As far as anyone can tell, Paul only uses a similar phrase one other time in 1 Corinthians 9 and it seems to have the same inference. The “Law of Christ” is to “share each other’s burdens.” No matter how big or how small, we need to share each other’s burdens. I was reminded of a phrase the old reformer, Martin Luther said… “Christians need to have strong shoulders” or something along those lines.
We really do. And if we don’t, we need to get into the practice of doing that… of shouldering each other’s burdens, of tackling each other’s problems, challenges, and needs together. Throughout history, Christians have best demonstrated God’s love by taking care of each other and those that the rest of the world doesn’t always want to care for.
Sometimes it’s as simple and small as delaying your lunch to give your buddy a jump. Sometimes it’s so much more. Whatever it is, it is “the law of Christ.” I’m grateful for the countless people that have shouldered my burdens with me. And I hope that has made me strong enough to shoulder the burdens of others with them. I hope the same for you.
P.S. One burden you might consider helping to shoulder is covered in the “Dig Deep” campaign that we’ll be announcing shortly. We’ll have more about that soon, but you’re welcome to catch a preview of the “not quite finished” info page here. It’s a big burden and we’ll not a lot of shoulders. But you can help. Pray about it, okay?
In the book of Genesis, God tells Adam (man) to take dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. It’s the first documented directive in the Bible, and it directly addresses the function of relationship. Usually, this word dominion, is interpreted as authority, power or rule. The thing that somehow gets missed or overlooked is that it also means responsibility. In every case, responsibility is always attached to authority, power, and rule. Sharing the burden of others is at the heart of our responsibility in relationship to each other.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.