Newsletter: February 2, 2023

When the easy yoke feels hard

In Matthew 11 Jesus invites us to come find rest in him, only his rest looks more like taking on a yoke. This was language of a ‘yoke’ was used for a rabbi’s teaching, discipling, and training others in how to learn and live. Come find rest in Jesus by learning from Jesus a whole new way to live. 
I’ve heard from many of you that you identified with how difficult spiritual disciplines can be. Read your Bible more, pray more, do more for God. 
What should we do when reading Scripture feels empty and prayer feels impossible? 
I think we should remember the very first part of Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11: “Come to me.”
You are invited to a person. 
You are not offered a job to perform or a list of activities to accomplish. 
You are invited into a relationship. 
Come to Jesus. 
“Okay Jonny, sounds great. That sounds really good and spiritual to just ‘come to Jesus,’ but how am I supposed to do that when I just told you Scripture and prayer feel impossible?” 
Tell all of that to Jesus. Tell him exactly how your heart bristles at the thought of opening Scripture right now. Tell him you don’t know what to read and you aren’t always sure what it means when you read. Tell him just how hard it is to pray. 
The yoke of Jesus means that he is showing you a new way to do everything. That new way of Jesus means you aren’t left to wallow in your failure until you figure it out. He invites you to come when you are weary and burdened even from spiritual disciplines! 
God isn’t looking for us to fix ourselves and then come to him. He simply says come. 
Here are some links to listen to our sermons in case you miss them: 

Life Together

But one catch is that you can't do all of that alone. You weren't designed to.
You need others in your life, looking you in the eyes, actively loving you.
And others need you too!
One way we live this out is through our Gospel Communities.
These are places for you to belong. They gather regularly around food and time together.
If you want to know more and jump into a group you can let us know right here: Gospel Community

There are also many ways to serve in our church, with needs across all our ministries.
Here's a simple form for you to see these opportunities and let us know if you'd like to help out.
I also recognize that this list doesn't include everything. You may be passionate and gifted in another area you aren't finding on this least. Please let us know! The last question is open for you to let us know what's on your heart.
Serve Form 

Thank You.

The last thing I'd like to say is thank you for giving.
Giving is first and foremost an act of worship, a declaration that we won't be gripped by our money in a way that it controls us. Instead, giving trains us to hold all of our possessions with an open hand. In a world that is hyper-focused on more, this can be quite radical. Keep it up, Shallowford family.

I love you dearly.

In Christ,
Jonny Day