Monday, April 16th. Mark 6:30-34

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:30-34


Many thanks again to the folks from Faith Lutheran who provided our devotions through Lent.  And now, after all of the excitement of Holy Week, and after a week of post-Easter vacation, we return today to our leisurely stroll through the gospel of Mark.


It is really interesting to watch all that happens in this 6th chapter of Mark.  It began with Jesus being rejected by the folks at home after his guest stint at the local synagogue.  Then he sends the disciples out on their own missionary journey in teams of two (which we read on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.)  This was followed by an interlude, the report of the death of John the Baptist (which we read on Ash Wednesday.)  And then that is followed by the verses we are reading today.


This is like watching biblical MTV!  Spirituality multi-tasking extraordinaire.  BAM BAM BAM.


It is no wonder then, after hearing the reports of all that the apostles, the “sent out” ones, had done and taught, that Jesus suggests they take a break.  Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while. 


We do well to take note of these rhythms of work-reflection-rest. We can’t keep what Jesus has given to us to ourselves but we also can’t give away what we don’t have.  There is a time to be active and a time to be reflective. 


What we need to notice is that we don’t need to encourage the Herod’s of our lives to oppose what God might be up to and we don’t need to encourage the crowds to clamor for our attention.  Both will happen all the time, without our prompting.  But the quiet places never force themselves upon us.  Going off by ourselves to rest is much more difficult than responding to the next call for help.


Thus we, and the disciples, are reminded that following Jesus will mean rejection but it will also mean renewal as we respond to his invitation to find time to rest and reflect.


Only then will we be prepared to face the crowds with compassion and the willingness to give what we have to give.


Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, thank you for the opportunities you give us to be helpful as we serve others in all the demands of our lives.  Thank you also for inviting us into quiet times, and quiet places, where we can be refilled and renewed.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


One Response to “Monday, April 16th. Mark 6:30-34”

  1. Jon Says:

    Realize you’re very busy, but I also got a lot out of the devotionals you used in ppteararion for Wednesday night. Any chance you might do one of those, maybe once a week? Really loved them, your scholarship shows, especially translating the words from the original text, it really helped clarify the concepts you were addressing. And, you do really well behind the pulpit. I could see people leaning forward to listen. That’s a good sign that someone is a natural teacher.

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