“Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”
August 11, 2016
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“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19). “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Casting all your anxiety (burdens) on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
You might say our role as workplace chaplains includes that of being “burden-bearers”. Yesterday we visited 6 different company locations as well as making a home visit to an elderly friend under hospice care. On some occasions we hear so many sad, complex stories that we deal with what has been called “compassion fatigue”.*¹ We hear stories of burdens concerning abuse, terminal illness, chronic pain, rebellious children, suicide, broken relationships and many more.
We have opportunity to pray with employees right at their worksite, when they’re desirous or open to it. Of course we do it in a discreet manner so as not to draw attention to one who is dealing with heavy burdens. Yesterday I, Brooksyne, prayed with an employee whose tears got in the way of her ability to carry on her work. I prayed not only for her burdensome situation but also that God would give her strength to carry on unhindered with her work duties. (She certainly could not miss work as her finances are very limited and faithfulness to work responsibilities are essential as well.)
Our ultimate goal is to point people to where burdens are lifted.
This is the fourth message we’ve prepared this week based on songs we heard at a concert on Sunday afternoon by the Collingsworth Family. Today’s message features another older hymn, although as I get older, “older” doesn’t carry the same connotation that it did when I was a young boy or young man. This hymn was written in 1952 two years before my birth:
Hearts are lonely and drear.
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.
“Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary” was written by John M. Moore and was prompted by an experience that Moore had while serving as the assistant superintendent of the Seaman’s Chapel in Glasgow, Scotland, one of that area’s outstanding evangelistic centers. He recalls:
“I wrote ‘Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary’ after a most interesting experience. The company secretary of a large shipping firm telephoned the Seaman’s Chapel and requested that I visit a young merchant seaman who was lying critically ill in a Glasgow hospital. After getting permission from the nursing sister, I went in to visit the young sailor. I talked for a few moments and then put my hand in my case for a tract, not knowing which one I would pull out. It happened to be a tract based on ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, with a color reproduction of Pilgrim coming to the cross with a great burden on his back. I showed the young seaman this picture and told him the story in brief, adding that Pilgrim’s experience had been my experience too. I explained that when I came to the cross of Christ, my burden rolled away and my sense of sin and guilt before God was removed. He nodded his head when I asked him, ‘Do you feel this burden on your back today?’ We prayed together and never shall I forget the smile of peace and assurance that lit up his face when he said that his burden was lifted!
Later that night, sitting by the fireside with paper and pen, I could not get the thought out of my mind–his burden is lifted! I started writing, but never for a moment did I imagine that this little hymn would become a favorite throughout the world. Since that time, I hear of people all over the world who are being blessed and saved through the singing of this hymn.” *²
Well, we are two of those people that have been blessed by this simple hymn for many years!
One of Brooksyne’s favorite writers is Robert J. Morgan, a pastor in Tennessee. Several years ago we attended his church and I took this photo. He shared an interesting illustration on his blog. He was on a long trip and was travel weary. He saw a long moving sidewalk and got on it.
He had a bag in each hand but in his fatigue he didn’t even think to set them down. “I was still carrying my load while the moving sidewalk was carrying me. Not until halfway down the hall did I have the presence of mind to release my bags and let the moving sidewalk carry them too.”
Can you identify with Morgan’s illustration although in regard to my burdens I tend to set them down (trust) and then pick them back up again (doubt).
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” In Scripture God often emphasizes the unit of time we call the day. In fact it’s the very first unit of time that is referred to in the Bible and the most frequently mentioned starting with Genesis 1:14.
And we all sure know about burdens. Surely we can identify with the Lord’s statement that “each day has enough trouble (burdens) of its own” (Matthew 6:34b). A commentary further explains the meaning of the daily text in this way: “God daily carries us as a manifestation of His protective and sustaining care.” Such an interpretation brings to mind “Footprints in the Sand” written by Mary Stevenson during her teen years in 1936 as she endured major obstacles in her young life.
What assurance His Word brings to burdened souls. Believing friend, God is bearing your burdens today. He loves you, and the burdens you are presently bearing matters to Him. God is faithful and He will see you through it! Don’t try to shoulder your burdens for the heavy load will surely break you. Instead lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross. Burdens are lifted at Calvary! Jesus will meet you there.
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, our faith rests in the finished work of Jesus at Calvary. Because of His tremendous sacrifice our sins are forgiven and a place is reserved for us in heaven. We also find rest from our unending troubles in this life as we respond to Jesus’ invitation: “Come to Me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Help us to look to You for needed strength and an overcoming spirit as we daily encounter challenges and ongoing burdens. Burdens are lifted at Calvary for that is where Jesus bore not only our sins but also our sorrows. Praise be to You, our Father in heaven, who daily bears our burdens. Amen.
“Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary” Video The Collingsworth Family
“Lay Your Burdens Down” Video Chuck Girard
“Lay Your Burdens Down” Video
“It Matters To The Master” Video The Collingsworth Family
“Redeemer Of The Rain” Video The Collingsworth Family We shared a message based on this song yesterday and a link to the song. But this version has Phil sharing the background we wrote about.
*¹ “Compassion Fatigue” is described in this message.
*² Source for hymn background to “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary” is here.
Yesterday afternoon we stopped by a roadside produce stand. I waited in the van as Brooksyne looked through the produce and chatted with the produce owner. Another van with the same make, model and color pulled around in front of me while Brooksyne was talking. I saw her, as though in slow motion, as she worked her way to the stranger’s van, since she assumed I had pulled up to get her. In slow motion it seemed she reached toward the door handle without even looking, opened the door and proceeded to get in. Then I heard her shriek as she turned around to look at me with a very red face! She would have climbed right in the stranger’s car had he not said, “Mam, you’re getting in the wrong car.” The produce man then commented, “I was wondering what in the world was going on here!” (I couldn’t resist getting a photo since I knew what was about to happen as she headed toward the stranger’s car.)
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