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January 12 | Mark 1:35-39


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION

What Does Solitude Do for the Soul?

by Jennifer Jerrome


Sometimes you just need to get away and pray.


It’s true that Jesus’ focus on earth was to preach. He says very clearly in verse 38, “That is why I have come.” Preaching the Good News, healing the sick and driving out demons, all are momentous things, but I believe Jesus did some of his greatest work when he went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (v. 35). It was during these times that he renewed his mind before continuing his mission.


The disciples missed what was happening during those early morning hours while they slept. When they noticed he was gone, they went in search of him and exclaimed, “Everyone is looking for you.” By that time, Jesus was ready to hit the road again. He was restored and prepared for what was to come.


Later in Mark’s gospel, after Jesus sent out the twelve, the disciples got to experience for themselves what Jesus had been dealing with.. 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.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:31-32). 


Physical, mental, and spiritual rest is what makes Jesus’ ministry possible. Although he is God, his work on earth was done in a body that required rest. And rest done in the presence of God is what refreshes the soul.


I read a prayer that said, “Dear God, help me find my rest in you.” That’s the momentous act, simply finding our rest in God. Sure, the works are good, but it’s in the rest that hope and joy and peace are found.


So, stop and find a solitary place to talk with God (if you haven't already.) Be warned though, your brain will find 1,000 ways to fill the silence, but my prayer is that in those moments you will find rest that renews your mind and refreshes your soul.

 


PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for the words of Luke 5:16, But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. It is my new favorite verse. Jesus withdrew again and again, and so should we. May 2024 be a year of solitude for us all. Amen.







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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Jan 12

Good morning, Jennifer. Today's scripture is filled with wise counsel for all of us, whether burdened with anxiety or in gladness while serving others. We all need rest and Jesus gave us suck great examples and affirmation that it is OK to stop, pray, listen and refresh. We take vacations as a way of putting our work aside for awhile to relax and enjoy God's creation. Our physical bodies need such a respite. Same for our spiritual self, right? Taking time out a few times a week to listen to the Holy Spirit is both refreshing and energizing.

Thank you for today's commentary. You and all the others at UALC are such a blessing to us in our daily readin…

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