BURDEN   5'1m0f Monologue: "my yoke is easy, my burden is light"

THADEUS -- (enters hurriedly wearing shabby tunic and sandals,
carrying Bible scrolls) I'm sorry I'm so late. But some
wonderful things have been happening. (examines audience) Oh,
it's happened again! I have never seen this room so full since I
began preaching here three years ago!

Forgive me. Those of you who have never been in this church
before have no idea who I am or why I'm here. Allow me to
introduce myself. I am Thaddeus. I am a fisherman on the
mainland. But I was appointed by Apostle Paul to preach the
gospel to the people of these islands. For those of you who have
never been here before, Paul is a Jew, like myself, but some of
you may know him as Saul of Tarsus.

Anyway, I row out here to the three islands to preach every
Sunday. Normally, this is my first of three stops. I usually
arrive here first thing in the morning. I usually read a few
passages from Bible scrolls like this one (holds up scroll),
then I usually preach a message about what the passage means to
us. Then, I get back into my row boat and row over to the
(points) middle island about midday and repeat the process.
Finally, in mid-afternoon, I row over to the far island (points)
and repeat the process there.

Recently, however, Apostle Paul gave me this NEW scroll that he
calls part of the NEW TESTAMENT. For the last three years I have
been preaching on what we used to call the Holy Scriptures, but
now because we have writings from apostles like Paul and some
friends of Jesus, we call those old scrolls the Old Testament.
The New Testament describes the life and times of Jesus and what
it means to us today.

Anyway, I recently began to read and preach about this New
Testament scroll. But when I came to today's passage, my mind
was blank. After days of meditation and prayer about it, I had
no idea what I was going to preach. Indeed, I didn't even know
what my message would be this morning as I got into my boat and
began to row over to this island. Let me read today's passage to
you. It's a quote from Jesus himself recorded by his friend

(reads) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for
I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

So, there I am in the boat and, as usual, Finehas and a few
others were waiting on shore to help me pull my boat up on
shore. But when I was still a couple of hundred yards offshore,
the ever-changing winds in this channel became a cross wind,
blowing me sideways. I struggled and struggled on the ores to
keep my heading. But then all of a sudden my struggling became
the message I was going to preach.

I stood up in the boat and turned around and waved good-bye to
the people standing on shore. Then I picked up the ores and
threw them overboard and let the wind take me where it wanted to
go. It blew me straight to the farthest island (points). When
the people of that island saw me coming so early, they assumed
that I was bringing important news, so the members of the church
invited everybody on the island to come listen to me.

Now keep in mind, for the last three years, I have been
preaching to the same small number of people at each church
every Sunday. I have been doing everything I could think of to
get more people to hear the good news of Christ. So, it seems
that the moment I gave up struggling, the Lord took over and
immediately did what I should have let him do all along.

Well, as it happened, the moment I stepped on shore at the far
island, the wind in the channel changed directions again. So,
when I finish there and I got into my boat and pushed off, the
wind carried me directly to the middle island. Again, the Lord
filled the church with curiousity seekers, but because they
could see that the Lord was not the demanding task master that
they thought him to be, many gave their lives over to Him.

Then again the wind shifted and carried me here. And yet again
the Lord filled the church with people. And so again, I will
tell you what I told the others. When I was in my boat, that
cross wind reminded me that we Christians are to serve the same
way we were saved, not by our own strength and struggle, but by
the strength of the One who died for us. I'm not going to tell
you to throw away the ores to your fishing boats. That message
was just for me, because I thought I was supposed to build these
churches by the sweat of my brow. (wipes forehead symbolically)

(looks offstage, smiles) Well, look there! It happened again!
The wind shifted again! It looks like I'll have a tail-wind
blowing me home to the mainland.

The message in this passage is clear. Give up the struggle. Give
up trying to do it on your own. (reads) "My yoke is easy and my
burden is light"

(waves exiting) Well, thanks for listening. I'll see you next

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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