Finding that quiet place
Mark 1: 35-39 (GNT)
35 Very early the next morning, long before daylight, Jesus got up and left the house. He went out of town to a lonely place, where he prayed. 36 But Simon and his companions went out searching for him, 37 and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus answered, “We must go on to the other villages around here. I have to preach in them also, because that is why I came.”
39 So he traveled all over Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and driving out demons.
It continues to feel so unusual not being able to hug or to shake hands or to ask folk over the doorstep, and it still feels awful giving people a body swerve on the pavement, but we have slowly trained ourselves that way for the greater good. Social distancing has not come easy. Jesus had social distancing of another kind in mind. Jesus makes his way to a quiet place to talk to his Father alone. He needed that chat with the Father to guide his ministry. We too need to link in to that guiding power source for our lives in order to change ourselves and our world.
Where is that quiet place for us? How do we carve out time in our day to talk to God? In lockdown times you would think it was easy, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Our present socially distanced faith and separated Church are nevertheless held together by our prayers. We will never be separated from the love of God. Jesus went back into the fray to continue his ministry and hopefully one day soon we will be able to gather again as God’s people. Some may miss a building, but more than anything we miss the people we used to see so often. People are the Church. Church is way beyond the walls.
Lord God, we are in a battle: we live with all the preconceptions of what Church is like and what it should be doing, yet you call us to be a Church without walls and, if need be, to break with traditions and over-worn practices; we busy ourselves, work long hours, filling our time to overflowing, yet you call us to find you, the quiet centre, and rest awhile in your presence; we are constantly bombarded with the pulls of human nature, yet you offer us the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self-control. Lord God, help us to win the battles set before us, following Jesus and keeping our connection with you through each day. Amen.