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September 21, 2023

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Today is the feast day of St. Matthew, the person traditionally credited as the author of the first gospel. Born into the Hebrew tribe of Levi, Matthew was a tax collector who met Jesus, became his disciple, and wrote an eye-witness account of his life, death, and resurrection.

Matthew’s gospel is similar in many ways to the others, especially Mark and Luke. But there are passages that are unique to his: the Sermon on the Mount, the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, and most especially, the Great Commission.

But one special passage that catches my attention today is in Matthew 11:18-20, about exchanging the burdens we are carrying for the lighter yoke of Jesus. I suspect it’s one that you need to read and reflect on today:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I invite you to read this scripture a few times, slowly and prayerfully. Note what is happening in your body to indicate the heavy burdens in your mind and heart. Envision accepting the invitation of Jesus, literally handing over those burdens and exchanging them for the lightness of God’s love and favor.

Remember that Jesus never promised us a life free from burdens. Jesus instead offers us a lighter one. Imagine the feeling of letting go of a 30-lb weight for a 5-lb one. Your muscles have been both fatigued and conditioned by the heavier weight, so picking up the lighter one feels so much freer, maybe even joyful.

This is the kind of life that God desires for you.


We continue our worship series on Christian ethical and moral formation called “Good and Faithful: Life Well Done.” This Sunday we will be focusing on the sacredness of life. We will again tie it into stories, illustrations, and songs from live theater, to help these ideas come to life.

We invite you to click here for additional weekly resources, including lectures by Dr. David Gushee, who wrote Introducing Christian Ethics, on which this series is partially based. The website will also have links to YouTube clips that feature songs from the musicals we are referencing.

Grace and Peace,

The Rev. Magrey deVega

Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist



This Sunday will also be a special and bittersweet day for our congregation, as we celebrate Rev. Vicki Walker and her 24 years of ministry among us. We will recognize her throughout the morning services and online, and then join at 4pm for a celebration in the Harnish Center. Visit our website for details on the event, and click here  to contribute to a love offering to her. Thank you, Vicki!