by Tony Nester

Bearing Burdens
Tony R. Nester
Galatians 6:1-10

I once heard about a young farmer who was badly injured years ago in an explosion on his farm. For weeks, months, and even years his life hung precariously in the balance. Eventually he owed his life to the stubborn persistence of the old school family doctor who fought almost single-handedly for his recovery.

This doctor knew that scar tissue would have to cover the raw bleeding flesh and tried to induce healing by pinch grafting skin from the patient's own body. That was a slow process and the doctor sought donors for massive skin grafts. He found a volunteer who was willing to give his own skin. The effort paid off as a few skin grafts caught and became islands of healing in a vast sea of bloody misery. The young farmer rose from what might have been his death bed.

This story helps me remember what a real church is supposed to be like. In a real church - a truly Biblical church - there are people who give up their skin for each other - they lay down their lives for one another.

In today's Scripture we hear the call to bear one another's burdens:

"Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2.

Here the Bible teaches us that those of us in the church are called to be a burden-bearing people.

Paul even says that by bearing one another's burdens we fulfill the law of Christ. What law is that? Well, it isn't a rule about going to church or putting money in the offering plate or looking like a religious person. The law of Christ was given to us by Jesus and is found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 13, verse 34:

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." (John 13:34 NRSV).

The law of Christ is that we love one another as he has loved us. In Galatians 6:2 Paul tells us that bearing one another's burdens is one of the important ways we fulfill Christ's commandment tha ...

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