Advertisements

Posts Tagged retreat

Mark 6.30-34 (35-45) Working on Vacation 20150719 RSUMC

WorkEthicTakesVacationThe apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.  Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

v35-44) When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late;  send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.”  But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?”  And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”  Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all.  And all ate and were filled;  and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. [NRSV]
Developing our Rest Ethic:
There is a difference in being LAZY and Renewal
Our culture has worked hard to develop the skills set of affording much laziness. (That is a different topic for a different format and conversation.)  But I must make the distinction between the do-as-little-as-possible is different from the vacation of renewal that Jesus invites his disciples to join.
“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”
The importance of rest.
The importance of prayer.
The importance of being off duty.
The importance of being rather than doing.
The importance of Sabbath rest.
Why do we vacation?
To relax and do as much rest and renewal as possible?
To have as much fun and adventure as possible?
To have something other than the norm be the order of the day or week?
We fool ourselves if we say, D) All of the above.
I enjoy traveling and exploring as much as the next guy, but Jesus is opening the door to something different.
Time Set Apart from the work.
Time Apart does not watch the clock;
Neither does it get online, no social media and no email, no games of diversion, no TV and no movies.
Time Apart is not only sleeping to rest the body,
It is also, trusting the rest of the world and our lives into the arms of God.
What would it look like if you found a room at your house this afternoon:
Where you didn’t straighten up nor mess up. You found a comfortable chair or lounge to
Share the Load
The Work is not SO important, that someone else can’t do it.
When Jesus is ask to Work, even doing something wonderful and good for others,
He chooses to invite others into ministry and service so that he might find RENEWAL.
There are just a few days or weeks before school begins,
There are vacations still to be enjoyed before the routine of normal returns,
The Caution: 
Don’t exchange sleep for rest.
Don’t call renewal being lazy
Don’t avoid retreat, because of money,
The loaves and fish are the resources that are available: Take the time you already have and go apart to
pray, rest, focus on allowing God to lead, and basically disconnect.
Set the alarm to welcome you back, but don’t short-change yourself, God or those we WORK to serve.
Advertisements

, , , ,

Leave a comment

MT 4.1-11 “Lead into Temptation” JUMC 20140309

 

Temptation

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.  The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,  saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;  and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. [NRSV]

Types of Temptation: My Own, My Circle, Strangers

Stone to Bread

We want to blame the devil but we do a good tempting ourselves. We know our own weaknesses and lust without much struggle.

We live with the assumption that if no one knows, if no one else cares, if no one speaks up, then it’s just not that bad.

Living under the radar is directly about are relationship with God.

Pinnacle Jumping

There are those in our circles of influence: Those in our family, community, in the church or other groups who know our actions and see our deeds, and know what’s going on, but we point out each other’s sin and brokenness and keep each other’s silenced by mutual leverage.

We will mind our business and stay out of yours because we want to be perceived as “good Christian folks”

We don’t want to be tested ourselves so we don’t put each other to the test.

Mountain Maybes

Jesus is taken to a mountain top experience and sees the global perspective of personal choices.

We want to find the lowest price on our clothes, tools and toys but don’t tell us about the people working for pennies to make the prices so low.

We don’t want to connect our little sins with the folks who are certainly guilty of bigger sins. A sin maybe a sin, but the consequences aren’t the same.

What do we learn about Temptation

1. It is a real experience for us all, including Jesus

2. It most often comes when we are at our weakest moments.

3. It reaches every level of our experience.

4. Spiritual Retreat can be a good context for being prepared

5. Scripture is the first defence

6. We can be angels or devils to others, offering nurture and support or torment and pain.

If we pray, “Do not lead us into Temptation..” then we ought not “Lead others into temptation either.”

RETREAT ( a Lenten season of practicing being lead by God instead of ourselves, our friends and fears. )

I have a micro retreat in the next five minutes. Don’t look at your watch, allow me to be the time keeper…

Spend the next five minutes prayer for God to strengthen you in the face of your sin, weakness, struggles, fears and failures.

Spend the next five minutes reading scripture for your support

Spend the next five minutes thinking of ways you might minister to someone who has been torn by sin and separation

Then together we will pray for strength and power and trust.

 

 

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: