Message from the Minister Letter 31 – Sunday 7th February

Dear all,

I hope and pray this letter finds you well and keeping safe.  Jesus’ ministry is starting to progress as we explore the reading set for this week of Mark 1: 29-39.   How do you relax and unwind after a busy day?  Admittedly, now, with the way things are, normal routines and ways of doing things are different, but normally speaking, do you enjoy a nice walk in the countryside, cooking a meal, baking some delicious treats, reading a book, watching tv, doing sport?  Whatever you do to relax and unwind it is important to give yourself space and time in order to recharge your batteries.  It is no surprise to find out that in today’s reading that Jesus needs time out from His schedule. 

The reading begins with Jesus leaving the synagogue with four of His disciples to go to the home of Simon and Andrew which was nearby.  Upon arrival, they make an unexpected discovery and find that Simon’s mother-in-law is unwell.  Jesus is informed and immediately goes to heal her, and she begins to wait on them.  I always find this slightly odd, but I suppose it was the custom of the day.  News that Jesus is staying in the area begins to spread and that of what had occurred earlier in the day at the synagogue. As a result, people begin to bring to the house, the sick and demon possessed, for Jesus to heal.  The text tells us that the whole town gathered at the door of the house, and Jesus healed many.  I suppose people also came to see what was happening out of curiosity and intrigue.  It is interesting to note here that again the people do not realise who Jesus was, but the demons do and Jesus commands them to remain silent. 

After a remarkably busy previous day, Jesus gets up early and goes off to a solitary place to pray.   Notice Jesus does not tell even the disciples where He was going, and they end up searching for Him.  The disciples do not appear happy that Jesus has taken some time out without consulting them.  Look at Jesus’ response to them, He does not feel the need to justify Himself or give a detailed explanation, but He moves on to the next item on His plan.  Jesus is keen to continue preaching and teaching. 

The lesson we learn today is that even Jesus needed time out from His busy schedule to rest and relax.  It is also important that we make time to pray and notice Jesus prioritises this early in the morning when He is at His freshest before He does anything else.   Taking time for rest and recreation is important from our schedules even in times like this to vary our days.  We may not be able to do everything we would like but we can still do some things around our homes.  Spending time in prayer is particularly important to develop our spiritual lives and helps us to restore our energies and help us in so many ways.  Let us ensure that we prioritise both prayer and times to relax in order that we can have as balanced days as possible and days do not become full of either paid work or housework and chores around the house.  Once again let us take our example from Jesus, our model and inspiration. 

May our Lord Jesus Christ, the One who inspires us, bless us now and always,

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