Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  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 11:28-30)





second sunday in apostles’ tide

Sermon Starter

In many places throughout the world, horses, oxen, and water buffalo are used to work the land. Mules and horses still serve the Amish farmers of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan quite well. Draft animals (as these pulling animals are called) must be harnessed or yoked together in order to pull effectively. Have you seen animals working the land? Perhaps at a history center? A yoke is a wooden bar used to tie or link the two animals to each other, and to the plow or cart. For these strong, large animals, the yoke is not heavy, nor is it uncomfortable.  As a matter of fact, it’s one of the smaller and lighter pieces of equipment involved, but it is vitally important. The yoke allows the animals to combine their strengths and accomplish much more than either one could do alone – and do what would be impossible for the man by himself.

One of three things can happen when a team of draft animals is hooked to a load. (1) The load may be too heavy for the team to pull at all.  (2) Even though the load is manageable, the team may not pull together in unison, and therefore it struggles unsuccessfully against the load.  (3) The yoked, united team can pull even a very heavy load rather easily.

Collect of the Day

Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life’s end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.