“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NRSV)
From the assigned reading for this Sunday from the Gospel of Mark 1:29-39, verse 35 above stood out to me. In the preceding 6 verses Jesus heals Peter’s Mother-in-law, along with healing all the various physical, emotional and mental illnesses of a huge number of people brought to Him immediately thereafter. After this, Jesus immediately felt the need for some time alone to replenish Himself physically and spiritually in prayer. When the disciples find Him, He doesn’t spend any time on the success of the ministry He had just accomplished but immediately lays out for them what is next on His ministry agenda.
As followers of Jesus, we love to proudly proclaim that Jesus is our example. Yet, we too often miss the lesson He taught us in how to live life fully, healthily and wholesomely for the long haul. The lesson in verse 35 is not an evangelistic message to the world but a life example that we all would do well to follow: “It’s important to take the time to replenish yourself physically and spiritually.”
It’s so easy to get caught up with doing things, even good ministry things, and forget this example of Jesus of frequently taking the necessary time to replenish our physical and spiritual selves. Failing to do will leave one burned out in every way. With the Season of Lent fast approaching, let’s use it as a time to replenish ourselves for the ministry to which God is calling us for the rest of 2018.
Begin by joining us for worship this Sunday at Covenant. I will be preaching a sermon called “After Serving: I Had to Be Alone” based on Isaiah 40:28-31 and Mark 1:29-39.