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Psalm 61:1-2

‘Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him. “Come unto me all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.”’ This is the Gospel invitation at the heart of the service of Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer...

Heaviness of heart is a regular human condition. Even the most optimistic and positive of people endure things that weigh down the heart and put pressure on the body. When the heaviness becomes unbearable thoughts often turn to God. What holds us back can be a sense that our life is not in order and we are in no fit state to ask God to come close. Either consciously or otherwise we decide to sort ourselves out first – then we might invite God to enter the house once it has been swept clean. If that is ever our attitude then we shall wait for ever while digging ourselves deeper into the mire.

What is so appealing about this invitation from Jesus is that he accepts us as we are, with the heaviness of all our burdens. It is because we cannot lift the weight in our own strength that he bids us turn to him. The simplicity of the call can offend our pride and self-justification but it cuts through the flesh to the heart. And when it does don’t be surprised if it reduces you to tears. That feeling that he accepts you as you are, that you no longer need to prove yourself, in short, that God loves you, begins to lift the heaviness and refresh the heart.

Just as I am
without one plea
but that thou bidst me
come to thee.
O Lamb of God, I come.
(Charlotte Elliott (1789 –1871), slightly adapted)

Taken from With My Whole Heart by James Jones

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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