(Jesus) said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ Mark 6:31a
We read this portion of Mark’s gospel recently in worship, but it continues to come back to me throughout this summer. This is the theme for the week’s Bible study and worship at Sugar Creek this summer, and I am very thankful for the opportunities that our ministry through Sugar Creek is providing for so many young people to “Come away with Jesus” this summer. I am also thankful to so many of you who have supported this ministry with you contributions and volunteer efforts. As Garrison Keillor is fond of saying: “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”, but especially providing an opportunity to experience God’s love through camping ministry is a great gift for many.
All of us need that time for rest and renewal that Jesus invites his disciples to share, even if we don’t travel far. It is wonderful just to be here during these summer days. Watching the people wander the Art Fair and the Kaffe Stua, enjoying the music in the park on Wednesday evenings, or just lingering over coffee on the back patio during a summer morning, there is a time to give thanks for a change of pace and a beautiful place to live.
But you know the story, the time away is not a destination, only a respite along the way. We are called to come away, but we are also called to go into the world, to make disciples, teach, heal, feed, build up, reconcile, and show compassion, all in the name of the one who has blessed us so richly. I pray that each of you will find the blessings that surround you this day, and then find a way to share those blessings with your neighbors near and far.