Please read Luke 4:42a
“At daybreak, he (Jesus) departed and went into a deserted place.”

I know it may seem strange that I’m asking you to read half a verse today but bear with me. Yesterday I invited you to sit with and reflect upon the perseverance of Jesus, how he continued to teach about the mercy, justice, and grace of God that knows no boundaries even when it was difficult to do so and even when he wasn’t received well. Jesus was a hard worker. He paid attention to others and used his gifts to serve, heal, uplift, and bring forth God’s kingdom. He didn’t focus on what he could gain for himself but instead focused on the needs of others. 

As followers of Jesus we are called to roll up our sleeves, even when it’s hard, to work for justice and proclaim good news.  But rolling up our sleeves to serve isn’t just about action. In order to serve the needs of the world we need to take time alone to pray. 

Resting in the presence of God is necessary. 

Our scriptures are full of examples of Jesus rolling up his sleeves AND full of examples of Jesus taking time alone to just be with God and pray. (see Mark 1:35, Mark 6:46, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12 for a few examples). 

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Jesus had a full circle pattern of being with others and being alone, of outward acts of faith and internal acts of faith. He rolled up his sleeves to get to work and he sat down to rest and pray.  We need this full circle pattern of faith, too. As we consider how we roll up our sleeves together, may we also take time to consider how we sit down alone with God. Whether it is going to a deserted place, a mountain, or just to a quiet corner in your home, may your alone time with God in prayer nourish you, strengthen you, and give you peace. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Prayer in Memory of Martin Luther King Jr.
God, you do not care about
our origins, skin color or gender.
Where your spirit blows,
people of different backgrounds
live together in peace.
Where you are, God,
fear recedes.
Prejudice and pride
lose their power.
God, we want to be with you,
we want to live with you.