21 February 2018
Feeding the multitudes
‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ Mark 6: 31
How often we are so busy, ‘coming and going’, that we do not have enough time to eat, to have a quiet time morning and evening or spend quality time with the family. So we miss his call ‘Come with me’. It is recorded so many times that ‘going apart’ to be with his Father – our Father too – must have been of major importance to our Lord, each day it seems, and sometimes all night. Can it be less for us?
Our Lord recognises the busyness of our lives, but also sees the need for time out (the Fourth Commandment), and sometimes he wants us to ‘go with him’ for rest. So the disciples went away with him – but a crowd finds them. Similarly, how often have we just sat down to the evening meal, late again, with our family, but then the telephone rings! Or arranged an evening or day out or even a holiday, then something crops up and we decide it is in the line of professional responsibility to respond. Sometimes we don’t even check to see where the priority lies in relation to our home and family, or to our personal and spiritual health. All too often we rush off without praying about it and seeking guidance in our decision making.
Is it just that we ‘have compassion’ on the crowd, our patients, that determines our decision? Or is it that we are so busy working out our ministry of care that we forget, displace or, worse, replace our family, our Lord, our God, with the altar of work? Is there no reason why we cannot switch off the
telephone, or arrange cover for the evening, for time with the family, for time with Jesus?
Read: Mark 6: 30–44; Exodus 20: 8–11.