Sunday in the Fourth Week of Easter

Text: Mark 6:30-34

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place..”

Mark often shows Jesus retreating from engagement with the world, retreating toward engagement with the Father who loves him so. Retreats were the classic moment for Jesus to be in prayer, and one could easily imagine Jesus teaching about prayer as his spends time with his disciples alone and apart.

Out of all the things that challenges the modern believer in his or her walk with God, none is so daunting as prayer. Our world teaches us that at best God does not particularly intervene in human affairs. Our world has become “flat;” it does not touch any divine realm, leave no room for divine intervention. So, prayer, with its assumption that there is Someone out there who will hear and take action, is an especially fraught notion.

But maybe the problem is not quite as we think. We want to use prayer as a tool, as one skill of many to manipulate and change our world as we see fit; but prayer is not that at all. It is the conversation of lovers, the close dialog of a parent and a child, the easy back-and-forth of two good friends. It is reverence, and yet cheerfulness.

It is engagement with the Father who loves you so.

Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


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