If you of my generation, then this title has this running through your head. You’re welcome.
The Lectionary, as I’ve said countless times before, does some very strange things with the Bible. Two weeks ago, Jesus sent out the Disciples, two by two, with nothing but the clothes on their back. Last week, we had the snapshot story of John the Baptist’s martyrdom at the hands of Herod, Herodias and Salome. This Sunday, we hear tell of the Disciples return and two trip across the Sea of Galilee (we skip the feeding of the 5,000 so that we can get John’s(!) version of it next Sunday).
Since I can barely remember what I preached two weeks ago, I’m pretty sure that most of the folks in the pews will have no recollection that two weeks ago, Jesus sent his disciples off on an adventure. So, when the return to tell Jesus “all they had done and taught,” it makes no sense to us. The story is further complicated by various location changes… but I digress.
What I’ve noticed this morning, which took me down this lectionary road, is that when the disciples return from preaching, teaching, baptizing(?), and healing, Jesus see that they are TIRED and calls them to REST. “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” Rest is important. Jesus sought deserted places for rest and refreshment. Jesus taught his disciples to do the same. He also sent them off two by two, which seems to indicate that team ministry is to be preferred, but that’s for a different post.
I’m contemplating rest today because I’m slowly being consumed by stress. I did it to myself, but that doesn’t make it any easier. On June 10th, we left for Sewanee for 3 weeks, during which I was assigned 30 pages worth of papers to write. I’ve handed in 5. 15 are due on August 1. 10 more on August 15. I returned from Sewanee for 65 hours and headed out the door to General Conventions where 12-16 hour days were the norm. I’m back home now and work and family commitments have me wondering if I’ll ever get these papers done.
I’m thinking that Jesus is calling me to rest. The sort of rest he took in the back of the boat on the storm raged sea. Rest that can only be given from the Father. Rest that is found even in the midst of chaos. There may be “No Sleep ‘Til” August 15th, but at least I know that I can find rest in the Lord.