Post date: Jun 30, 2015 5:12:4 PM
In our gospel reading for Sunday July 19th Jesus says to his disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” Mark 6:31. The rest of that verse explains, “For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” And Mark 6:32 says, “And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.” Jesus is actually grieving the recent death of his cousin John the Baptist here. He also knows that both he and his disciples need some R&R at this point.
God’s people need rest. The basic meaning of sabbath is “to cease: to rest”. In the 10 commandments, God says, “Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8. God gave his people the gift of the sabbath, to keep them from getting too tired and grumpy and burning out. God Himself rested on the sabbath day after all his work of creating the universe. If God takes a rest day, it must be OK for us, God’s people to take a rest day.
Jesus, God’s Son, worshiped God and rested on the sabbath day. At the same time, he did not hesitate to heal people and teach the Word of God on the sabbath day. This got him into trouble with the religious legal beagles, who had made all kinds of do’s and don’ts about the Sabbath day. But as Jesus says, “The sabbath was made for humankind and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” Mark 2:27-8.
Now I know that summer time can be a lot of hard, hot work for farmers and construction workers and road crews. But I pray that you all can find some time to rest and worship God and enjoy nature and family and friends this July/August. The Hickman’s will take some R&R time to enjoy a family reunion on my Mom’s side July 16-20. Cathy and I also celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on July 14th, so that is a significant milestone in our lives. Kyle and I will probably make it to at least one Mariner’s game and I always enjoy going for some long hikes in our Cascade Mountains. I’m a person who finds great refreshment and renewal spending time in God’s marvelous creation.
Our Lord Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
Wishing you rest and refreshment in God’s care this summer,