First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
Growing up, my brother and I always had a fascination with the garbage truck. On Saturday mornings, we would eagerly sit by the window and wait for the garbage truck to come and pick up the trash. Occasionally, we would even try to run outside and help throw a bag onto the back of the truck. A favorite game we later played was to take the couch cushions and pretend that we too were garbage men.
What prompted this fascination with the garbage truck? Who knows; but perhaps in some part it was the wonderment that you could collect all this trash in the house all week long, and then one day put it out on the curb, and someone would magically come and take it all away, never to be seen again.
Where did the trash go? We had no clue; all we knew is that if it went in the trash and if it was placed on the curb, it was gone forever. Old food, torn clothes, broken toys, dust, no matter what it was, it was gone by Saturday morning when the garbage truck pulled in front of the house.
It struck me the other day, that this was in fact a wonderful analogy for Matthew 11:28, where we read: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
We are called to cast all our burdens, all our anxieties, all our cares and concerns on the Lord, and trust in Him to give us rest and peace of mind.
In a sense, Christ is the garbage truck that comes by, not just once a week, but every day, and He takes upon Himself all the things that trouble you, all the things that concern you, all the things that are causing you to worry, and He takes them away. He leaves you with a free and clear mind, knowing that you do not have to worry about those things anymore.
Now unlike my younger self wondering where the trash on the truck went, you know where Jesus takes all the things that you cast upon Him: He takes them to the cross.
At the cross, Jesus suffers and dies for all your stress and concerns and problems. They are all absorbed into Him, and you are set free from the bonds of sin and death and anxiety and all that troubles you.
At the foot of the cross, you lay all your burdens, and you walk away with a free and clear conscience. At the foot of the cross, you put all that troubles you, and you walk away knowing that you will never see those troubles again. At the foot of the cross, you put every dark and depressing thought that has entered your mind, and you walk away.
Jesus asks no questions, He simply bears those burdens for you, so that you can walk in the light of your Savior without any thing to weigh you down.
And you can do this every time you go to the Lord in prayer; every time you remember your baptism; every time you hear the words of absolution spoken over you. Jesus comes, and He takes your burdens upon Himself, so that you no longer have to worry about them anymore.
That is the true wonder: not that someone for a small fee would take away your dirty napkins and broken toys so that you can have a clean house for a few days; but that someone, Christ Jesus, would come and take your sins away, solely out of His great love for you, so that you can spend eternity with Him forever.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt