Easter 3, Monday, Year B

Inspired by Jeremiah 30:1-11a

“On that day, says the LORD of hosts, I will break the yoke from off his neck, and I will burst his bonds, and strangers shall no more make a servant of him. But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.” Jeremiah 30:8-9 (NRSV)

Despite all our best efforts at self-determination and independence, every single one of us is enslaved to something or someone. We spend more money than we make and are enslaved to our debtors; we value the esteem of others and are enslaved to society’s expectations. We insist on the primacy of our own autonomy and are enslaved to limited choices and imaginations. No matter what, life on earth means answering to someone or something else.

The Lord God saw the plight we were in, saw the way we exploited each other and were exploited ourselves. He saw us struggling in our enslavement, answering to masters not worthy of the authority they’d usurped. He offered to redeem us and take us into his service, sending his Son to show us the way. We are still in service, and we still have a yoke upon us, but we share it with the One who is gentle and humble in heart, and whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.

It is so much better to serve the One who created us, knows us, loves us, and has already given his life for our gain than to serve the cruel and selfish taskmasters that trick us into slavery with their offers of freedom and self-determination.

Let us pray. Gentle Lord, you are the ultimate authority in the universe. Encourage us to turn to you, that in your service we may be freed from the false promises of worldly possessions and acclaim. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.