Painting: St Wulfran's, Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
– Galatians 6:2
It all comes down to, comes back to, comes around to: LOVE. The Greatest Commandment. Do you love God? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? If you claim to love God, then you have no reason not to love your neighbor — your black, yellow, brown, red, white — the we are all "precious in His sight" brother and sister.
It is written in the gospels that the man who was compelled to help Jesus carry His Cross as He travailed towards Calvary was Simon the Cyrenian. This man was believed to be a black man, because he came from Cyrene, a city in Northern Africa, present-day Libya. Simon, the man chosen to walk close to Jesus in His sufferings, had a pivotal role in His story and helped shape history.
What does this poignant picture of the King of kings, wearing a crown of thorns, accepting the help of the one He was ultimately going to die on the Cross for reveal to us today?
We are called to carry each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2).
We are not meant to suffer alone (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
We are all someone who Jesus went to the Cross and died for (John 3:16).
Let’s help one another carry each other’s burdens TO the Cross as we lay down all of our burdens AT the Cross where Jesus already took it all ON the Cross. We may not be able to alleviate all of someone's pain, but we can surely have a part in leading them to the Healer Himself, Jesus Christ, where He took all of our pain on the Cross, defeated death, and resurrected in full love, power, and glory.
It is there, on the Cross, that Jesus took our shame, our stain, our sins. It is there, on the Cross, that He took racism, prejudice, hatred, pride, greed, and injustice. The evil running rampant in today's world breaks God's heart, and we pray that our hearts break for what breaks His, and moves us all to cry out in repentance.
All have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The struggle isn't against flesh and blood or black and white, but against good and evil, the principalities and strongholds of this world (Ephesians 6:12).
We must fight for each other and not with each other.
We must lead our brothers and sisters to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
We must rise up for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).
The Gospel means, "The Good News", and the Good News is that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Your life matters. For God SO loved the world that He gave His Son, Jesus's life as the sacrifice, the atonement for our sins. When Jesus died on the Cross, He had YOU in mind. He had ME in mind. He died for one and for all. All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13)!
There is power when we come together in humility and experience unity as humanity. As we do, may our faith move us into action. May our faith compel and propel us with compassion for the one. The overlooked one. The oppressed one. The outnumbered one.
Let's be the eyes, ears, hands, feet, and heart of Jesus. Will you be the one to stand up for the weak? To raise your voice in prayer? To kneel down in repentance? To hold a fast that breaks the chains of wickedness and injustice? To walk the narrow road? To lead in love?
Love always leads you back to the Cross where Jesus is the Answer, the only Answer, has always been, and will forever be. Let His love comfort and console you with these words today, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). Let His perfect love, which casts out all fear, wash over you today (1 John 4:18). It all comes down to, comes back to, comes around to: LOVE.
Love & Blessings,
Elena & Natalia Maranian