Mark 6:30-45, 53-56
Jesus takes the Apostles away to rest
One of my 6 month placements in industry was in equipment procurement. At the time were building the first test aircraft and then the first customer aircraft. The job I had was effectively to try to get the suppliers to deliver the equipment they were making to the assembly line,
so that the aircraft could be assembled. But because it was so early in the programme, everything was late. So my day in procurement looked like this. Each morning I would arrive at work for 8 o’clock, grab my book, check for any emails overnight from my suppliers, and go to our daily ‘drum-beat’ with the programme team. In this instance, the procurement team were the drums, the programme team were the drumsticks. Each day they would read through a list of equipment that the aircraft needed and we would update them, if there was an update, as to where the equipment was. Every couple of days you could say with glee that something had moved closer to the assembly line in Toulouse. The programme team would grunt and move onto the next piece of equipment that was running late. Any sense of victory was short lived. After an hour and a half I would leave the meeting to start chasing up the same equipment I had been chasing up the day before in hopes of more progress. But the rhythm, while difficult, and lacking any celebration for the things we had achieved, also enabled us to get through a difficult period in the programme.
Rhythms are so important to our lives. Whether they are a daily rhythm, or a weekly one. A rhythm can enable us to take rest, it can also open us up to creativity within the space it provides. Jesus and his Apostles needed rest. Jesus was trying to give them a rhythm, not unlike breathing. Breathing out – going out into the villages, proclaiming that the Kingdom had come near, healing and caring for people.
Breathing in – taking in that Spirit of God by spending time in quietness, in rest, in prayer. Schools have now gone on Summer Holiday.
The children and the teachers have a chance to breath in. Parents may have a mixed view as to whether they have a chance to breath in – but there is something about being together as a family which can offer a special kind of rest, a healing perhaps better described as a centring, a chance to refamiliarise oneself with one’s family, it can be restful, at least some of the time.
Of course, Jesus and the Apostles don’t get the rest they are looking for, they are immediately surrounded by those looking for help. Those concerned only with their own needs, their own illness, their own loneliness. There will always be those who seem to take more than they contribute. Those who need to be shepherded, to be cared for and given a safe place to find their rest. But then we are called to be compassionate and generous as Jesus is compassionate and generous. But to do so as a community. Not just me, not just one of you. We are there to support one another. And to find the opportunity to find a rhythm where by we get the same rest, the same healing that Jesus and the apostles saught. We find that healing in a rhythm of life. One which includes both prayer and activity. One which includes those things which put a smile on our face, and those things which we must simply grin and bear. We need one another’s support – support that can, by the power of God’s transformative love for us, transform even those who we feel are a burden on us. Through Christ we can come together in our weekly rhythm here to pray together, in unity and peace to re-invigorate one another. Through Christ we can spend time each day re-centring ourselves on God’s love for us, being empowered by our relationship with God.
In the coming months, as we listen to the suggestions made by our community, as we listen to see where God is already at work in Child’s Hill, we also need to be prepared to spend time in prayer, listening to where God is calling us to bring healing. Listening to where God is calling us to be prophets. In September we will start to have monthly bible studies, one during the day and one during the evening.
This will help us in our quest to listen to God. We have started in our prayers on a Sunday each week to pray for organisations or aspects of our local parish. I would also encourage you each to think of what time you can set a side to spend in prayer for Child’s Hill. Perhaps setting it as an intention when you are doing pilates or yoga or going on a daily run or having a coffee. Or perhaps by attending evening prayer or midweek services here or somewhere near where you work. Talk to me, maybe there is something we can set up perhaps a weekly meditative prayer – an opportunity to spend time in silence or a time for contemplative prayer.
Even full of compassion and fully divine. Jesus was always looking for moments of peace in the midst of his mission. He looked to instil a rhythm of reaching out and drawing in. Reaching out to those who were hungry. And drawing himself into a closer relationship with the Father. Reaching out to those who were sick. And drawing his apostles in to enable them to minister. Reaching out to those who were in despair. And drawing all creation into himself on the cross to be transformed by the glory of God. So we should live our own lives with that same rhythm of reaching out and drawing in. A balance between action, doing God’s work, and a time of rest, being God’s work.
The Reverend Robin Sims-Williams
8.00am Said Eucharist in the lady chapel
10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School
Said Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00am
Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm
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