Article by: Bishop S. Mueller
In general, human beings assign great value to liberty. In fact, many wars have been fought simply to shake off the yoke of an oppressor. However, liberty can often be our worst enemy. For example, as children, we may not always have appreciated our parents’ rules, but if no one had ever given us any sort of direction, our lives would have been chaotic!
Our direction comes from Jesus Christ: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”
(Matthew 11: 29–30). Is it so much for Him to ask us to:
- come into His house for the divine services,
- love our neighbour,
- serve Him with our gifts, and
- strive to be like Him?
That is His yoke. That is His burden. And in accepting it, we gain absolutely everything (cf. Mark 10: 29-30), including perfect liberty and securing our future with Christ.
For some, this liberty seems to come at too high of a personal cost, namely the surrender of our own will to the Lord. After all, the evil one also has his own offer: “Do whatever you want. That is your only law.” Now that
sounds like real freedom! What he leaves out—in typical fashion for him—is that there are consequences for our negative actions, which quickly become an inescapable mire that destroys our liberty and limits our future. And each time we cut God out of our lives, we risk being on our own—and may result in forfeiting His help, His counsel, His blessing, all of which is to secure our salvation.
Our young people, some of whom will soon be newly confirmed, have to decide: “Which offer do I choose?” Perhaps the words of Paul will prove helpful: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any”
(1 Corinthians 6: 12). We do not want to be brought under the power of anything or anyone other than Christ. Only His yoke is easy. Only His burden is light. Everything else comes at far too high a price.
Let us not only tell our young people about this, but actually show them by our example!