Have you ever seen someone who is attached to a parachute … float down to the ground?
That sort of happening catches our attention, partly because it seems peaceful, but also exciting.
Although many people use parachutes to assist them with their work,
such as members of the military who sometimes need parachutes to do their job,
other people like to parachute just for fun.
It is an exciting, yet dangerous sport called skydiving.
Can you imagine what it must feel like to jump out of an airplane for the very first time …
eventually open the parachute …
and then drift to the ground?
I know it may sound surprising, but I have been skydiving twice.
Both times harnessed to an instructor who told me what to do
as we were jumping out of the airplane, then floating down to the earth,
and then eventually landing safely on the ground.
It was awesome and I highly recommend it if you’d ever like to try it.
People like me who want to learn to skydive have to work first with an instructor.
After much instruction and many conversations about safety,
the student prepares to make the first jump.
The instructor straps the student to himself and
the two jump from the airplane together.
By being close to the teacher the student learns exactly what to do to make a successful landing.
Jesus talked about being close to a teacher when he said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me….” (11:29).
A yoke is like a harness that is put over the shoulders of animals so they can work together to pull a heavy load.
Jesus, as a teacher, offers this kind of closeness to each one of us.
Just as a student, learning to parachute for the first time, needs a lot of instruction,
we learn how to live good lives by learning about Jesus, reading the Bible and praying.
And, just as a beginning skydiver needs to be very close to the instructor on that first jump,
we are reminded to stay close to God,
working together and gaining strength from God who loves us.
Spend some time this week hanging out with God in prayer.
Yoke yourself to God. You’ll be forever glad you did.
Take care everyone.
I look forward to seeing you and being with you whenever we can do that next.
Stay safe. Stay smart.
Peace and love to all of you,
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog