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Quiet and Rest

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 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 6:30-31
Today’s passage captures a moment right before a miracle. Jesus and his disciples had been hard at work preaching in villages, casting our demons, and healing the sick. It was a wild and exhausting season of ministry.
Full of enthusiasm, the apostles (ie. “the sent out ones”) returned to Jesus to report back to him all that had happened and to celebrate the awesome things that God did in and through them. But things were rarely quiet when Jesus was in town. And the disciples desperately needed a beat of quiet to recover from their intense season of ministry.
Note that Jesus is the one who initiates the move toward quiet. He is willing to take them away from the crowds and from the activity to give them space to reconnect with him and to recover. He is willing to slow down the escalating pace of their ministry in order to deepen their relationships with him and to ensure their spiritual health and vitality.
We want to pay attention to this moment in the story, to learn from it, to lean into it.
But this isn’t the full story. Tomorrow, we’re going to dive into the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus’ plan for some quiet time and rest for his disciples gets tossed overboard.
Jesus’ plan may have changed in the moment, but his desire for his disciples to be well cared for never went away. There’s a rest that comes from quiet and a rest that comes from depending on Jesus. We, like Jesus’ disciples, need both.
How are you doing emotionally and spiritually as you enter 2018? What’s your energy level like? What are your plans for rhythms of life that include quiet time and rest in this year?

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