I’m Gonna Lay Down My Burden…

I’m gonna lay down my burden
Down by the riverside… I’m gonna study war no more

I first heard this old American spiritual in the 1960s… an inspirational anthem…

I’m gonna lay down my burden… This last week I’ve met people who are carrying huge burdens that weighs heavily on their shoulders…

  • Caring for a family member… worn out by the burden of daily responsibility.
  • A hurtful relationship from which there’s no apparent escape or resolution
  • A whole bundle of personal and family circumstances all come at the same time..
  • Just weariness with life… age has increased, strength and joy has decreased.

Longing to laying down my burden…

Down by the riverside… the place for burden-laying-down. The Bible-picture is of the river Jordan, the place to stop before entering the Promised Land. After carrying their burdens on the journey for 40 years across the desert God’s people arrive at the ‘Land flowing with milk and honey’ where they will finally settle in peace and all will be well.

For some in the Christian tradition ‘the riverside’ is the picture of baptism, of commitment to a fresh start. The song says ‘I’m gonna put on my long white robe.’

Finding my ‘riverside’ where I can lay down my burden.

I ain’t gonna study war no more…

We continue to focus on and so study confrontation, conflict; coming out on top whatever the collateral damage… so we see discord, anger, hate, fear…

Friday was Jack and Brenda’s golden wedding anniversary celebration; yesterday we celebrated Jen and David’s wedding… two occasions when we celebrated love.

At yesterday’s wedding we heard: ‘For love is as strong as death… It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.’ (Song of Songs 8:6-7)

We should be studying empathy, humility, joy, peace, and compassion, learning how we can encourage and develop these characteristics in ourselves and each other.

 I ain’t a gonna study war no more…

4 thoughts on “I’m Gonna Lay Down My Burden…

  1. Thank you, I often sing a song “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face………”. I often take my burdens there


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