Message for Sunday, July 18, 2021

Coming Apart So We Don’t Come Apart

The Gospel reading from Mark is a clear picture of the Christian Life.  In it, Jesus calls his disciples apart so that he and they can get away from the crowds who have been coming to him.  They need a break, a time apart to be alone with Jesus and to refocus themselves on the work that lies before them.  After a while, sooner than planned, the needs of the crowds again press in on them and they, and Jesus, are back at work.

In our lives as disciples of Jesus, we find that we need to follow this same pattern if we are to keep from coming apart at the seams.  We are in need of that time apart to be alone with Jesus.  We need to leave the call to service behind and to come and sit at the feet of the master so that we can be refreshed.  We need to place our lives in Jesus’ presence so that we can be healed, encouraged, and strengthened.  We need to be reminded of what our mission is and for whom we are working.

Although in our ministry of caring and sharing we are trying to reach out to those around us, we are doing it not only because of their needs but because Jesus calls us to join him in his work.  With all of the demands on us and the never-ending line of needs before us, we can easily lose sight of the fact that we do what we can because of our love for God and our desire to serve with Jesus.  Coming apart with Jesus helps us to see once again the love in his eyes and to join once again with his mission.

We need to come apart so that our needs can be met.  We cannot continue to give and give without having some time to be refilled.  Even Jesus was not able to go about his work of ministry without taking time to be alone in prayer with God.  We are certainly not able to function without that re-centering in God.  We need to find ourselves held in the everlasting arms that support us and hold us up when we are ready to fall. We need to be filled and refilled with the Spirit that filled Jesus.  We cannot do the work that is before us on our own.

Many of us find it hard to take the time to be a part of God.  The demands on our time are great.  If it does not work, it is our family’s needs or meetings at church or something equally as pressing.  Yet, we know that we find the time to do most of the things that we truly believe to be important.  Not many of us have had to explain to our boss that we just couldn’t manage to get into work because we just had too much to do that week.  Most bosses would arrange for us to have a whole lot more time available for our other pressing needs!

Often times we find ourselves not taking the time for prayer and meditation because we are just too busy.  It is probably that we know we should do it but it really doesn’t seem to be that important.  We don’t notice enough results.  The problem is that prayer can be like exercise.  If we go to the gym once, we don’t see much in the way of results.  We may be more tired or a little sore but we don’t feel better and we still weigh as much.  We don’t gain the benefit of exercise in one visit and we don’t usually notice the change at the time we are working out.  It is in the steady discipline of doing our exercises that we receive the benefits from it.

More from Sermons from the Gospel Readings continuing on Prayer next week!!