How do you look at religion? Is religion a burden you have to bear, or is it more of a release from burdens? I don’t mean theoretically, I mean by your own observation of the religious people you know. As a person becomes more religious, is she more or less happy? Jesus made a short statement on this; it is found in Matthew’s 11th chapter:
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I am not so sure that modern man really appreciates this in these days of five-day work weeks and eight hours a day of work—and work that is not at all physical in many cases. Jesus spoke into a world of hard labor. He spoke to people who worked a twelve-hour day, six days a week—if they were lucky. But then there are other kinds of burdens, as well—like fear and anxiety. I suppose these words of Jesus still resonate with us in the 21st century. The words
light sound awfully good to me when things aren’t working out as I wish they would. Is religion hard or easy? Well, at times, Jesus suggests it is hard, and here he says his yoke is easy. Which is it, really?