I want to start with a Bible verse today. This really touched my heart as I read it…
“And the apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.’ (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)” Mark 6:30-31
In my spirit, there’s something that just so beautiful about that. When the apostles came back to tell Jesus about all the things that happened, the things He had sent them to do, He didn’t greet them with high-fives, praise or encouragement. That probably sounds a bit odd to us, since we live in an “age of affirmation.” But He doesn’t correct them either… nor does He do a debriefing.
But what He does do is sees their real need. They’re tired… they’re weary… they’re worn out by the constant flow of people demanding attention. And so rather than praise, affirm or encourage them, Jesus invites them to come away with Him to a secluded place and just take a rest. There will be time for praise and encouragement later, but for now – just rest.
I think that’s something we all need to hear. “There is a time for every event under heaven…” (Eccelsiastes 3:1) There should always be time to eat and a time for rest. As a society, we generally don’t have a problem doing the first one, but the second one, resting, is one we ignore. But they work together. You can’t do one without the other. You can’t do without times of not doing. We weren’t made that way.
We kind of get this. We know we need both. We do our doing during the day and our resting during the night. But our nights keep getting shorter, don’t they? Our phones keep beeping and bopping and the glare from the computer screen is always piercing the darkness of night.
But the truth is, this just isn’t about rest, it’s about retreat, about a change, about seclusion and time together with Jesus. He doesn’t tell them, “Go sleep it off; we’ll be back at it tomorrow.” No, He says, “Come away by yourself to a lonely place and rest a while.”
That’s the beauty of a Sabbath rest. We are invited to stop… cease and desist… to unplug… to find some quiet and to rest. It’s ok to let the emails stayed unopened for a while… the phone muted for a time… all those notifications untouched, in order to rest your body… renew your mind… and revive your spirit.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I pray you find a moment today to “come away” with Jesus and rest a while.
Help me to respond to the invitation to “come away” for a time of resting. Jesus thank You for reminding me. It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen