Today we are reading from Mark 1: 35-39:
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
We see two key things about Jesus in our reading today. First, we see that He was driven by the mission He had. He had come to proclaim the truth of God, to drive out the forces of evil, and to let everyone know that the kingdom of God was at hand.
He worked tirelessly. He was focused, He was determined. We admire that. We strive for that.
But notice what He did before He left to continue the work. He got up, alone, and prayed. He sought time with His Father. He attended to His soul. He rested. He had Sabbath.
Now, listen, this is a do what I say, not what I do devotional. I don’t always do well with Sabbath. I’ve usually got about 15 going at once, and that’s kind of where I live. But the older I get the less I see how unsustainable that is. We have faithful work to do for the kingdom. There are things that God has called us to, that we are to live into. These things take our work, our effort, our faithfulness.
But for us to be able to do this, or anything, we need to be rested and dependant upon God. I think of a quote I heard attributed to Luther, where he was to have said, I have so much to do today, instead of my normal hour in prayer, I will spend three. That does not seem like an efficient use of one’s time.
But in God’s kingdom, our souls need that. And if our souls are not rested in Him, we cannot be as faithful as He desire.
Jesus models for us health today – faithfulness and rest. May we follow His example.
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