Burden, Burden – Who’s Got the Burden?

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-29

Props: A Bible and a neck yoke (or picture of one in use)

Who feels really strong this morning?  Did you have a good breakfast?  Do you think you could hold this Bible while I talk to the other kids?  OK.  But you have to hold your arm out like this.  [Arm fully extended out to the side.]  Now make sure you don’t let it down.

Who can tell me what the word “burden” means?  (You may need to give clues and probe for answers.) Our scripture verse this morning talks about burdens and yokes.  These were items the people of Jesus’ time knew about.  They didn’t have four by four pickups to carry their belongings from place to place.  They used donkeys and oxen, sometimes with a yoke across their neck to support the load. And they didn’t have water coming from faucets in their homes.  They carried it from the community well in clay jars supported by a yoke like this one.

[To volunteer] How is your arm doing?  Keep it straight out there.

When Jesus said His burden was light He didn’t mean he was going to carry their water for them.  What He meant was when the problems they had in their lives seemed to get them down and made them sad, praying for strength would make the problems seem much less serious.  Psalms 68:19 says, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

[This question to the volunteer may need to be inserted at a different time depending on how well the child is doing.  You will want to insert it at the point the child is starting to show some strain in keeping the Bible held up.]  Still feeling strong?  Would you like help?  [Have two other children come by the holder and support his arm and the Bible.]

Besides just making us feel less worried about our problems when we pray about them, God will often send friends to help us with whatever is bothering us or to comfort us.  Paul said in Galatians we should carry each others= burdens, and in this way we would fulfill the law of Christ.

[To holder] It was much easier once you got some help wasn’t it?

Part of being a Christian and following Jesus means helping others with their burdens.  But when you help out of love, it doesn’t seem like work at all.

Prayer: Good morning, God.  Thank you for always being there for us when our problems seem to be too much for us.  Thank you for giving us friends who are there to help.  Remind us to show our love for you by helping others when they need it.  Amen.


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