Sunday, 19 July 2009

Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while (Mark 6:31)

I just want to say something about one line of the Gospel which I think is very relevant to what I tried to express yesterday evening late. It is "[Jesus] said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." (Mar 6:31 RSV). In our hectic days it is always to remember that particular. I don't take rest here as going for a snooze or so, but as the "rest" in Genesis (Gen 2:15, נִּחֵ֣), man being put in the garden to rest in the presence of God, and so here, the disciples take rest with Jesus, to spend some time with Him to recollect in the busyness of the ministry.

To link it to yesterday, I think this is essential even if the business around us is pressing in upon us. I often try to revere to the fruits of prayer as the "desire" in our heart, as any sensible consolations are most of the time not noticed. It is then when we start "neglecting" God that we notice this desire and this attraction even stronger. I experience it I think like the feeling of the negligence of a good friend, or the longing of seeing for example ones family after a long time away...

And even then, when we read that there is already a crowd on the shore we might still get a hint of encouragement, even if it is pushing the interpertation a bit. "[Jesus] had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things" (Mar 6:34 RSV).

But it is Jesus that starts teaching them... not the disciples. So maybe we too should try and trust on that, that we need to have our lives grounded in resting in the Lord, and even when we take this necessary "rest", as again I take rest as a rest/being centered in God, the Lord will still work through us, even if it means that we spend time in private prayer in your room (cf. Mt 6:6), or even "into your inner room" (Mat 6:6 NAS, the cell of ones heart? But this is a whole different reflection). It is only later "when it grew late, his disciples came to him" (Mar 6:35 RSV)...

Like I said, maybe pushing it a bit, but it gave me some direction fort he week to come... let see if it will work out!

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