Thursday, July 15, 2021

Friday prior to Proper 11


Mark 6:30-44 — “Retreat” is the key word for today. Christ and the disciples together. Jesus takes His disciples to a lonely place for rest and teaches the crowd that gathers. This lesson combines the conclusion dealing with the sending out of the disciples and the introduction to the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples return from their preaching journey and are exhausted. People with needs throng around them so that they do not get any rest. Jesus takes them in a boat to a secluded spot that they may rest and be apart from the crowd.

But the people will not let them alone. When the boat comes to shore, the people are waiting for them. Seeing the crowd, Jesus expresses compassion for them because they are as sheep without a shepherd. Before Jesus gives them physical bread, he gives them spiritual food by teaching them. This is the only time Mark refers to the Twelve as “apostles.” It is an appropriate name; for they had just returned from a preaching-healing mission. An apostle is one who is sent forth by Christ.

Seeing the multitudes might have angered Jesus. He was taking the disciples apart for a retreat so sorely needed. He could have become impatient and told the people to scram. His reaction reveals His heart – compassion. He felt sorry for them because they were in desperate need. He has the heart of God, the God of love. Because of His compassion, Jesus cares about people.

Even Jesus realized the need to get away from people and work to rest and recuperate for later service. Modern life is often lives under high tension and intense stress. There are the rush of work and the hectic schedule of activities. Everyone needs a hideaway, a place to escape periodically. Jesus prescribes a retreat for you…

Ø  Solitariness –“Come away by yourselves.”

Ø  Seclusion – “A Lonely Place.”

Ø  Siesta – “Rest for a while”[2] 

Collect for PeaceO God, whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world simply cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being def3ended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.[3]  – 16 July, 2021

[1] The Crucifixion Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut copyright ©WELS used with permission

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff, © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH

[3] Collect for Peace, Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis

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