From the Empty Tomb to Pentecost

 

As we enter a new season of the church year, our journey continues.  Zephaniah 3:9 says: “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.”  Other translations translate “shoulder to shoulder” as “one accord.”  Both paint a picture, but what is being rendered?  The primary use of the Hebrew word echad (one) is the same word used in the Shema – that we are to “Hear oh Israel, the Lord Your God is One.”  The word shekem primarily and specifically means the spot between a person’s shoulder blades.  The spot where burdens are carried.  The place where Jesus carried the tree on which he was crucified.  He bore our sin, our burdens.  And in Galatians 6 we read, that we are also called to bear one another’s burdens.  Another lesser meaning of the word shekem is found over 65 times in the Old Testament (as in all things context is key) – and it means to “Rise Up.”   What if we rise up and bear each other’s burdens together as the Body of Christ?   

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2

A Season of Relief

Asthmatics struggle to breathe. The physical restricting of their air pipes cause a dramatic loss in oxygen. An asthmatic greatest struggle isn’t to inhale oxygen, however. They struggle to exhale the carbon dioxide that needs to be evacuated with each cycle of our blood. How many of us have things that weigh us down? Burdens we carry; skeletons we hide; secrets we can’t have revealed? We are a community of asthmatics that have lost and forgotten the power of exhale. We can’t breathe! Our hope is that season can be a time of release and relief as we lean into the Breath of Life–our inhaler–as He takes the toxins from us.

The Privilege of Community

But this time is not a just a personal journey. We risk community, and we risk vulnerability. The reason is quite simple. There are many times when I need others to breathe for me. And there are times when you need others to breath for you. We cover one another along the journey. In community, the burdens of others are a privilege to carry. In community–true community–you release those burdens and let others carry you. Our hope is that we meet fellow beggars along the way and carry each other to the foot of the cross and edge of the empty tomb.

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