So far in our sermons for July, we have learned to be vulnerable and trust in Christ, the work that it takes to be a follower, and the cost that is associated with being a Christian. As we see in scripture and as we find out in our own lives following Christ is a great deal of work! How long can we go on with this frantic pace without collapsing and giving up? For each of us it is different, and yet at some point we all need rest.
In our Gospel from Mark today, we see Jesus gathering his disciples around him. They give him an accounting of all the things they had done in his name. Jesus then tells them “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” We read in these verses that the disciples were so busy that they did not even have time to eat. Does that sound familiar to you? Jesus made them stop and rest for a while. Rest being the key word here, sometimes we get so caught up in following Jesus that we forget to take care of ourselves. Jesus slows the disciples down and gets them to take a breath. Several times in the New Testament we also see Jesus going off by himself.
So how do we today rest and recharge? What is there that can give us a boost to carry on? First we need to just rest! Then while we are resting we should take time to meditate, read the Bible, and do personal devotions. We can use this time for personal reflection, to reflect on what we have done and what we need to do, what has been effective and what has not worked. Then we need to be willing to change the things we need to change. These things will help us get going again, and put us back in the right frame of mind, and in right relationship with God. Remember following Jesus is not easy.
The other thing we can do to rest and refresh ourselves is to attend worship in the church of our choice, with others that are workers with us in the Kingdom of God. As we worship and praise God for all he has done, we gain an energy that is unlike anything we can imagine. Following Jesus is hard work, but if we take the time to rest like we have talked about, we will be supplied with an endless energy that cannot be stop! So as you go about the work of following Christ, take the time to rest and recharge. May God’s Grace and Peace be with you this week and always!