December 15, 2020

Do We Carry Each Other’s Burdens?

Galatians 6:1-6

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

—  Galatians 6:2

Several years ago, while serving a church in California, we held an open forum for divorced people. One divorced woman said, “When I needed the church the most, it was not there for me.” More recently, a church magazine quoted a prisoner convicted of a serious crime as saying, “In my moment of greatest need, my church family abandoned me.”

It’s easy to walk right past people who are burdened—sometimes because we don’t know, and other times because we don’t want to be bothered. Thank God, though, that there are many church members who make it their business to carry the burdens of others. Some go out of their way to invite someone for dinner who has no family. Others faithfully pray for people they know who are dealing with hardships, and some send a card to let people know that someone is thinking about them. Still others faithfully call on people who can’t get out. One dairy farmer I know sent 10 cows to a fellow church member whose dairy farm was struggling.

And that, according to Gala­tians 6:2, is the way things should be. We are to carry one another’s burdens. When you find yourself in church, take a look around and try to see who might need you. Go through your church directory, and send a card to or pray for someone who is carrying a heavy load. Reach out to people in your ­local community also. And keep fulfilling the law of Christ by showing his love.

Lord, open our eyes to see the burdens of others, and open our hearts to reach out in whatever ways we can. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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