Readings are Proverbs 8 and Galatians 6:1-10.
“Every man shall bear his own burdens”; this is the law of necessity. “Bear ye one another’s burdens”; this is the law of Christ. Let a man lighten his own load by sharing his neighbours burden”. T.T. Lynch.
Galatians is a life changing letter. In these few verses Paul shows us what living in a Christian community looks like when one is guided by freedom that can only come from the Holy Spirit. We are spiritual people and as a result we are called to bear each others burdens (2). We are called to do this in humility, when it comes to moral problems and sins. To financially support our teaches and to recognise that God will hold them accountable for how they have treated others.
It is a stand out passage on helping those in need (10). Many have said that the practice of helping those in need in the early Christian Church was such a big part of who they were, that it ony ever required, “the briefest of mentions”.
The two themes that we need to think through today, are those of mutual accountability and personal responsibility. There is no denying that this should lead us to reach out to others. We need to be neighbours to others and be neighbourly at the same time. Sadly, the times we are living in does not, it seems, to be moving us toward more openness, but the opposite.
The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus will judge us on the basis of our lives. What is the evidence that our lives are currently presenting? The stark reminder that “God cannot be mocked. A man will reap what he sows” needs to be taken seriously. Yes, God loves us and yes with this love comes his holiness. While we are always in need of God’s grace we must apply this grace to our daily lives. We need his grace when we examine ourselves We need his grace when we serve. We need his grace to help us take personal responsibility for our own growth.
Finally, how often throughout history have the words “let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”, been said to encourage the saints (9). They are tender and remind me that God indeed wants us to rely on him.
Brothers and sisters a new year is underway. While we can’t turn back time and change the past, a new year of doing all things for the glory of God is available to us all. Galatians 6 offers a great way to jump-start doing all things for his glory, especially to “those who belong to the family of believers”.