As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Thoughts from Cory:
The scriptures have so many lofty ways to describe Jesus and to talk about him.
“Son of God.”
“Prince of peace.”
The writers of the stories about Jesus also regularly describe Jesus as doing very normal things, getting hungry, angry, falling asleep, and needing to get away from the crowds. Nowhere does Jesus seem to be faking it, pretending, or going through the motions. He has genuine, real, felt needs and he is intentional about meeting those needs.
In this passage, Jesus feels the need to get away from the crowds. Even though the work that he is doing with the people is of the utmost importance, he prioritizes times of quiet renewal.
He gets up early in the morning, finds a quiet place, and he prays.
If Jesus, the embodied Word of God and the most human human, needs that time to refresh, is it possible he is modeling for all of us a better way to be human in the world?
Some of the old preachers would say something like this, “Every day, I spend 30 minutes praying before the start of my day. Unless it’s going to be a busy day. In that case, I spend 60 minutes praying.”
May we give ourselves permission to rest, to step away from the chaos to find our center, and to be kind to ourselves, especially when we are busy and the work is pressing.
Outward Mindset Application
Are you currently in conflict with someone? This week, apologize for something that is yours to own.
Pathways toward Centeredness
Activism (Loving God by seeking change for the poor and powerless):
Is there someone in your life whose perspectives or actions have harmed you or people you care about? Consider inviting that person out for coffee or a meal this week to share your experiences.
Questions for Reflection
In which settings do you find real, deep rest?
If Jesus stopped by your house, would you ask for anything?
“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.
Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.
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