Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Weekly Moravian Message: July 22, 2012

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Come away . . . and rest

Many people will say that a pastor’s life is one they could not live. The idea of leading a large group of people down their spiritual walk with God frightens the average layperson—not to mention the other responsibilities that a pastor obtains when entering the ministry. Perhaps the same feelings existed in the ones who witnessed the busy-ness of the early disciples of Jesus.

Reading the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, I am curious as to how Jesus and his disciples accomplished their mission of healing, all the while staying healthy themselves. What if Jesus sent his disciples on their mission (6:6b-13) to lessen the enormous responsibilities Jesus himself felt? Much as the church is unable to function with a single person, Jesus utilized the resources available to him to accomplish his mission of healing—sending his disciples out and giving them authority over unclean spirits. However, as Mark 6:30–31 points out, the disciples had basically exhausted themselves. As a Good Shepherd, Jesus called them to rest.

In whatever profession we find ourselves, Jesus invites us to “come away . . . and rest a while” every now and then. Jesus knew that his disciples were working diligently to provide the ministry of healing throughout all Judea. But Jesus also recognized the threat to the disciples’ own health as “they had no leisure even to eat.” We often get distracted in our busy lives, forgetting to give attention to our physical and emotional well-being. We are so caught up in the “to-do’s” of life that we fail to take time to rest.

Sit on a park bench for awhile, rock in a rocking chair, or lie in the grass and stare at the stars. Spend a little time resting in God’s arms.

Hmm . . . that gives me an idea.

Russ Williams, pastor, Moravia Moravian Church, Summerfield, North Carolina

Moravian Daily Texts


Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Watchword for the Week — Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35

Sunday, September 23 — Jeremiah 11:18–20; Psalm 54
James 3:13–4:3,7–8a; Mark 9:30–37

I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:34

John wrote: My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1

Gracious Advocate, so often we go off on our own and lose our way. We take our eyes off of you and selfishly focus on the world. Thank you for not abandoning us to ourselves. Thank you for bringing us back into loving communion with you. In the name of Christ, our redeemer, we pray. Amen.

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