Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.”
“My Yoke Is Kindly and My Load Is Light”
Notice that in the passage we are analyzing, Jesus said: “Learn from me.” By learning from Jesus, we become his disciples, and we take his yoke when we make a dedication to God and get baptized. (Matthew 28:19, 20) Regular participation in meetings is vital to our remaining Jesus’ disciples. Why? Because it is at Christian meetings that we are taught about Jesus, his teachings, and his methods.
What is the load that Christ wants us to bear? It is the same load that he himself carries—the privilege of doing God’s will. (John 4:34; 15:8) Effort is required to obey God’s commandments, but this load is not too heavy to bear. It may seem to be heavy if we try to carry it in our own strength. If, however, we pray for God’s spirit and feed on the spiritual food presented at the meetings, we will receive God-given “power beyond what is normal.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) By preparing for the meetings and participating in them, we grow ever stronger in our love for Jehovah. And when we are motivated by love, God’s commandments “are not burdensome.”—1 John 5:3.
People in general face such challenges as earning a living, dealing with health issues, and handling personal problems. To handle them, however, we do not rely on mere human wisdom. Congregation meetings help us to “stop being anxious,” for Jehovah supplies our needs and helps us to cope with problems. (Matthew 6:25-33) Indeed, Christian meetings are an expression of God’s love for us.
“I Am Mild-Tempered and Lowly in Heart”
It was Jesus’ custom to visit the synagogue, where God’s Word was discussed. On one such occasion, Jesus took the scroll of Isaiah and read: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” (Luke 4:16, 18, 19) What a thrill it would have been to hear Jesus apply those words by saying: “Today this scripture that you just heard is fulfilled”!—Luke 4:21.
Jesus, the mild-tempered “chief shepherd,” is still overseeing the spiritual care of his followers. (1 Peter 5:1-4) Under his direction, “the faithful and discreet slave” has appointed men as shepherds in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. (Matthew 24:45-47; Titus 1:5-9) These men “shepherd the congregation of God” with mildness and set a good example by regularly attending meetings. You can show appreciation for these “gifts in men” by being at the meetings, where you can encourage others by your presence and your participation.—Acts 15:30-33; 20:28; Ephesians 4:8, 11, 12.
“You Will Find Refreshment for Your Souls”
When attending Christian meetings, how can you ensure that these occasions are truly refreshing? One way is to apply Jesus’ counsel: “Pay attention to how you listen.” (Luke 8:18) People who keenly desired to learn paid close attention to Jesus. They asked him to explain his illustrations and, as a result, were rewarded with a deeper understanding.—Matthew 13:10-16.
You can imitate such spiritually hungry ones by actively listening to talks at our meetings. (Matthew 5:3, 6) To help keep your mind focused, seek to follow the speaker’s line of reasoning. Mentally ask yourself such questions as these: ‘How can I apply this information in my life? In what way can I use it to help others? How might I illustrate this point?’ Additionally, look up the scriptures used by the speaker to support his key points. The more you pay attention to how you listen, the more refreshing the meetings will become.
After the meeting, discuss the program with others. Focus on the material and on how it can be applied. Upbuilding conversations make the meetings very refreshing.