When did someone last offer to help you out with something?
We are called to love one another. Jesus makes that abundantly clear. Sometimes people might be doing something you know is wrong, and Paul suggests that we help them by trying to gently restore them. But in those situations it is so easy to get caught up in what’s going on ourselves, or become judgemental and self-righteous about it and end up sinning and being unloving. Instead, Paul says we should try to carry one another’s burdens. To look around and see what needs doing and where people are being weighed down by life.
Paul goes one step further though. He also says “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Paul’s whole identity before he discovered Jesus was about academic achievement and being the best of the best. He had pedigree and much he could have boasted about in human terms. But the one thing he wants to boast about is about Jesus and his death.
The thing is, the death of Jesus in so many ways was a total failure in the eyes of the world. It was the worst death possible, a punishment and shameful to boot. Yet, the cross wasn’t a failure, because it is through the cross that our hope lies.
What would happen if the only thing we boast of is Jesus? What would happen if Jesus was at the very core of all we are, all we do, all we say? Firstly, we would be so different, and we would see the world through different eyes. Secondly, we would never forget what Jesus did for us on the cross. And that would mean that we’d have mission at our core – because we’d want everyone else to know it too.
Let’s be those people today.
Lord God, thank you for the cross. Thank you that on that cross, you took all our burdens and paid the price for all we’ve done. Help us to live lives with that at the centre. Amen.
Look around you today. Who’s burdens can you help to carry?