In the Lectionary

July 9, Ordinary 14A (Matthew 11:16–19, 25–30)

There is a difference between work-life balance and sabbath living.

Jesus’ invitation in matthew 11 may be one of the most comforting passages in scripture: “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” It is an invitation to sabbath living.

Much of the chapter leading up to this consists of Jesus teaching about ways of knowing God outside theological training and strict religiosity. The scene that follows in the next chapter shows Jesus in conflict with religious leaders over rules for the sabbath. The invitation extends in both directions, to those of a misguided generation seeking the wisdom of God and to those who would seek to govern when and how to find it.

Eugene Peterson helpfully paraphrases this invitation to the modern world in The Message: