Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not
even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves
to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
With the feeding of the 5000 the apostles were met by an excited and active group of people. These people were constantly coming and going. The apostles must have been exhausted, because we hear Jesus say to them ”come…and get some rest.”
With Memorial Day past, the official opening of summer weekends are upon us. At the end of the week, after all the weekdays of activity and labor we probably are looking forward to these summer weekends and a little R & R. Some will seek it at the beach, or at their favorite fishing hole. Others will go camping or RVing, while some will simply work at home. If these are the places in which we seek rest on the weekends, what kind of rest can we expect to find? A change of pace, a change of scenery or to give us a respite from the workaday world? Often it does not offer or afford even physical rest. More often than not, we come home more tired than when we went.
So let us not forget the Lord’s invitation. He said “Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.” To get the rest we really need for the workaday world with its pressures, problems, and conflicts, we need more than a change of scenery or change of pace. Jesus invited the apostles to come with him to a quiet place. The important ingredient in the rest we need so much is Jesus and a quiet place to be with him.
There is such a place and it is near. We do not have to go to the shores of the Sea of Galilee to find it. It is as near as our own church, St. Mark’s. There we can be with Jesus, because he is present in his word. He is ready to hear our prayers, ready to rejuvenate us after a week of stress and work. Here he is present in the Lord’s Supper, when he gives us his body and blood to strengthen our faith and assure us of the full forgiveness of all our sins. This is the rest we need to prepare and strengthen us for the challenges of the coming week. And even more important, this rest equips us to meet our adversary, Satan, and remain steadfast in the faith to everlasting life.
R & R is important for our physical and spiritual rest. So on a Sunday at St. Mark’s let us meet Jesus in our quiet place. What a wonderful way to start the new week and be renewed for whatever lies ahead.
Let us say with the psalmist of old: “I rejoiced with those who said to me. ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ “