Daily Dose, April 24 — My Brother’s Keeper

  Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) There are some kinds of work that we do that are just easier done alone. There’s work that demands solitary focus and attention, and sometimes we’re the only ones who know how we want to accomplish the work. But then there are all the other kinds of work -- all that work that’s just better and easier when we have a helping hand. As I write this, I have pictures in my mind of people right here in our own congregation. Specifically, I’m thinking about spending time last summer in Ecuador with a group of our adults and teenagers. We spent some long, hot, humid afternoons digging, shoveling and mixing concrete…together. I remember stopping at one point and looking at Doug Hale from a distance as he heaved 100-pound bags of cement mix into the mixer. Clad in a bright red shirt, I remember thinking, “I’m glad we have Mr. Incredible on the trip with us!” (If you know Doug, you can get the picture!) As the work unfolded before us, we realized that we were literally bearing one another’s burdens. It wasn’t easy, but it was certainly better than any of us trying to do it alone. That’s just part of the life of a Christian, I believe. We are given opportunities to help others shoulder their loads. At times, this might be physical (like on the mission trip). Perhaps more often, we’re given opportunities to help shoulder the other loads that people have -- those loads that are emotional, relational, spiritual. It’s easy to see when someone needs help picking up a bag of cement mix, but what are the things that are less obvious (and often unspoken) but are real burdens that people carry? Are we available to help someone shoulder those kinds of burdens? It’s often not easy, but it’s always better than that person feeling like they must carry it alone. The verse in Galatians tells us that when we bear one another’s burdens, we actually fulfill the law of Christ. When we strive to actually be our brother’s keeper -- looking out for their best interests and looking for ways to shoulder their burdens -- we stay in the right alignment with Christ. So what’s a simple way to please God? Look to help someone else! Take on yourself a little of the weight that they carry. And remember, we’re all going to encounter days when WE hope for someone to show up and take some of the weight off of US. -- Rev. Brad Greene