The Parishes of Crail and St Ayle
Reflections from Dorothy Neilson
Sunday - 18 July 2021
Good morning, friends in Crail and St Ayle,
Gathering into the presence of God.
Gentle and loving God,
I desire to be still and know that you are with me and within me.
Grant me the wisdom to allow my soul to be quiet and confident,
Trusting that you are doing better things for me than I can ask or imagine.
Listening for God’s word. Mark 6: 30 – 32
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 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. 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
A fortnight ago, we went away to a hotel for a few days. Lockdown has taken its toll on all of us and we were feeling the need to go away and recharge our batteries. I wanted someone else to plan the meals and shop for food and cook and clear up. Someone else to do the worrying. I longed for new scenery, new vistas, new stimuli. I was worn out. I wasn’t worn out from hard work perhaps. But I was tired of my particular kind of life and I wanted out; at least for a few days.
Jesus’ disciples and Jesus himself found themselves in a similar situation in our Bible passage today which you can read above. They had been busy for a time and all gathered together again with their stories of what God had done, how he had helped them with their work and to share their excitements and their concerns. Jesus sat with them and listened to them. But they couldn’t find any peace because there were so many people demanding their attention.
“Let’s get out of here,” said Jesus. “You are all tired and need time to rest. Let’s go out on the boat, just by ourselves.” And they did. Even with people clamouring to see them and speak to them, Jesus said no to them all. His disciples needed rest and that was top of his agenda.
I was so grateful for our few days’ holiday.
As with many hotels nowadays, there was soft music playing in the background all the time, setting a mood and helping us relax. One of the many tracks being played over and over again was a song by Norah Jones called “Come away with me”, a softly-sung, gentle ballad about one lover calling to the other, much as Jesus did to his disciples and much as he does to us also when our lives get heavy. “Come away with me. Let us go somewhere quiet. You need a rest.” The song goes on,
“And I want to walk with you on a cloudy day
In a field where the yellow grass grows knee-high. So won’t you try to come?”
So often when life seems bleak or overwhelming or boring or exciting. Or challenging, worrying, sad…… put in the word that describes your life right now. So often we just need a rest or a change of scene or maybe someone to talk to.
How tempting. What a lovely thought. And the good news is that we are just a breath away from that rest we so long for. I wonder how YOU would use that time away with Jesus. I guess the disciples would all react differently. Some would get into that boat and fall asleep. Some would immediately get the kettle on and make some coffee. Others would take the chance to talk to Jesus alone.
What would YOU do?
What would you talk about? What do you really need to say to him? What do you want to discuss with him? Or do you just need to relax on his company and be grateful to be there. This is the only place you can completely relax knowing you are accepted and loved and have the ready ear of the Master. Imagine.
“Come away with me. And I will give you rest.”
If you want to hear this song look it up on Google.
Lord I come before your throne of grace.
Lord, I come before Your throne of grace
I find rest in Your presence,
And fullness of Joy
In worship and wonder,
I behold Your face
Singing what a faithful God have I
What a faithful God have I
What a faithful God
What a faithful God have I
Faithful in every way
Lord of mercy, You have heard my cry
Through the storm You’re the beacon
My song in the night
In the shelter of Your wings
Hear my heart’s reply,
Singing what a faithful God have I.