Thursday Reflections – January 28, 2021 – Rest

Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections: 

Today in our reflection, we are going to be looking at Mark 6: 30-44.    

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 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. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 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. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Today we look at our Gospel reading, which is is one that we know quite well, the feeding of the five thousand. But in Mark’s Gospel, as with all the scripture, it’s always important to remember the context, what is happening all around the passage. 

Today, as we enter into this passage, there two things that have happened.   First, earlier in chapter six, Jesus has sent the Discplies out to do ministry and we see them come back, ready to tell them all that they had done. And in the previous section, we see John the Baptist had been murdered.  He was probably the closest thing that Jesus had to a best friend, he lept in his mother’s womb when he was in the presence of Jesus.  

All this has happened.  What does Jesus tell His disciples?  Let us go away rest for a moment. Much has happened that we need to process and pray about.  Much is yet to come that we have to be faithful in.  For us to be faithful in what is to come, we need to rest in this moment. 

That is a HUGE thing for us to understand. It is a huge thing for me to understand, frankly.  I don’t rest well. We don’t rest well. We go and go and go and go and are always exhausted. We don’t have the energy to hear God or be faithful to God in what He may be calling us to next because we are so tired.

And for us today, our exhausting is not just physical.  It is mental.  We are always distracted.  By our phones. By social media. By the news. By everything. We are so tired. Physically, mentally, spiritually. 

We don’t have the energy to hear God, much less be faithful to whatever it is that He may be calling us to next.  

The only way the disciples were able to help Jesus feed the 5000 is because they first took a moment to rest.  Today, we need to do that same.  This is not idle mindlessness. This is rest. Turn your phone off.  Listen. Be aware. Rest.   Give yourself space to experience God.  Jesus, even Jesus, understood this power of rest. 

We need it today, more than ever. Give yourself space to rest.  When we do this, we will experience God.  

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