Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sermon: Galatians 6:2 Bearing Burdens

Today is Mothering Sunday, the day when we say thank you to our mums, and also thank God for them. Now, can you tell me what things your mum does for you? What do you have to thank God for?

There are lots of examples - and some of them involved carrying things - whether bringing you to church or school; buying you shopping; carrying things for you; or even carrying you if you're sick.

Today I want to help us think about carrying things. And I need a volunteer, someone who thinks they're very strong. Now, James doesn't know it yet, but he is going on a journey. His luggage is in the vestry, so let me just go and get it. (go back and forth, bringing out a big suitcase, then another one, then a suit bag, then a rucksack, and another one, a 'man-bag' etc...)

How are you managing with all that luggage? Would you be able to carry it? Remember that it's all empty - what would it be like if it was all full? You wouldn't be able to cope. In fact, you would need some help. Another volunteer, to come and help him - it's much easier when you have someone else carrying the burden, isn't it?

Sometimes, we just can't cope on our own, we need help. Paul is telling us to be the people to help other people. What kinds of burdens would you be able to help with? When your mum brings home the shopping, do you leave her to carry it all, or do you help bring some of it in from the car?

Perhaps you know someone who needs heavy things to be lifted, and you could help. But it's not just about carrying things - there are other ways to carry burdens and help people. Maybe there's someone in your class or school who is lonely, no one ever talks to them - you could be the one to be friends with them. Or maybe your friend is sad because of something that has happened - you could help them.

Paul tells us what to do - carry each other's burdens. He also tells us why. Here's what he says: 'Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.' (Galatians 6:2)

You see, each one of us has a burden. Each one of us carries around a heavy weight. And I need a volunteer to help. The burden that you bear is of sin: the wrong things we do and the good things we haven't done. There are little sins (bring out from the vestry some little boxes wrapped in brown paper with the word 'sin' on them) and bigger sins (bring some bigger boxes - too great a burden for the child).

Each of us has this burden of sin; each of us carries it around with us. We need to be free of it. And that's what Jesus has done. As he died on the cross, he takes our sin and makes it his own - as if it was his sin. He paid for it, and got rid of it. (prepared adult symbolises Jesus by removing the burden from the child and taking it out of sight).

Now, you're free from your burden - and you're free to help other people with the problems and burdens in their life. That's what Jesus calls us to do - to receive his love ourselves and to know freedom from our burden, and then to love other people, and to help them be free of their burdens.

How will you help those around you this week?

This Family Service Talk was preached in Aghavea Parish Church on Sunday 18th March 2012 at the Mothering Sunday Family Service, incorporating the GFS Enrollment service.

No comments:

Post a Comment