There are many directions the worship team could take the theme this week. It starts with how you want to visualize the yoke that Jesus describes in our text. Do you see it as an opportunity or as a burden? As a fulfillment of a calling or a duty to be performed? How do we present the idea that “Jesus calls us” as the hymn states, “o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea”?
Do you see the yoke as a symbol of the calling to a life of service? If so, then worship should be a celebration of ministry in the church and in the community. We can present service, not as a burden or a duty, but as a joy. We can tell the stories of those who have been blessed by serving – not being served, though those can be told too. But tell the stories of how someone found God or his/her life’s purpose in serving. Worship can lift up service as a fulfillment of the easy yoke, the one that fits us, that satisfies a deep longing in our soul to be at work in the fields of the Lord. Let worship be a time to thank God for the opportunity to serve.
Perhaps you see the yoke as a symbol of the partnership with Christ. It is not so much about what we might do, but about the one with whom we will do all things. The yoke that Christ speaks of in our text is a symbol of relationship. When we come together to worship, we come together. We are not alone, but part of a community. Added to that, of course, is the intimate and personal relationship that we have with Christ. We are yoked, meaning everything we do we do in the presence of Christ. We are blessed beyond measure. We are known and we are loved. That is certainly something worthy of giving thanks and praise to God. Let our worship be a reminder of the relationship with Christ and with one another. Let our songs be songs of community and of fellowship. And let our service be done, not with a lone-ranger mentality, but in terms of the unity of the body of which we are a part.
On the path of a disciple, we are learning to grow in our relationships with Christ and with the community. It begins when we take the yoke.
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.