“At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.” Luke 4.42-44
Is it hard for anyone else to get up early in the morning, put down the agenda for the day, and spend time with the Lord? Today is that day for me! I’ve woken up later than I wanted to — enjoying too much sleep, have a full day planned in ministry with lots of meetings, and a load of personal family errands to do later. My mind is racing with all I need to get done today.
But Jesus, at daybreak, when the sun has just risen, goes to a solitary place, a lonely place, a spot by himself. And what does he do? Well we know from Mark 1.35, that in these times and places he prays. Consider the agenda of your day for a moment — schedules, meetings, school work, family time, social media scrolling, exercise — then consider Jesus’s agenda. They just don’t compare!
He had much to do each day. He was currently in Capernaum, off the Sea of Galilee, directly on the northern tip of the lake. It’s beautiful there, still and calm. I know because I’ve been there multiple times. I’ve been to the ruins of the house that was Peters, to the synagogue with the black basalt foundation that was next door, to the small fishing village known as Capernaum. The meaning of the word, by the way, “Capernaum” in Hebrew means “the village of consolation,” or comfort [https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Capernaum.html]. When I was there I didn’t feel rushed, I felt comfort. I felt consoled.
Now you better believe that Jesus had been busy the day before, healing, casting out demons, preaching the good news, and he would be busy this day. But for a moment, before the crowds caught up to him again, he was by himself in a solitary place, perhaps seeking comfort, finding consolation in the town of it’s namesake with his Father.
My question for us is this — How can we find comfort, peace, quiet and consolation in our busy lives? How do we slow the agenda of what the world or our own ambitions put before us, and find rest in the arms of a Savior? Perhaps right now, in the midst of our packed calendars, we slow down, take a moment to stop and pray. We fix our eyes on Jesus, we say a prayer to God, we invite the Holy Spirit to find us in peace.
“Peace be still,” Jesus said to those in the midst of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. He says the same to us. Peace. Be still. Find rest in your God. Allow him to find rest in you.
“O Lord God, I did not want to stop this morning for I have too much to do. Too much that won’t be remembered even by tomorrow! Too much that is unnecessary and wasted. Today I must practice your presence, to go with you, to walk with you, to talk to you. Even in the middle of full lives and agendas, you are near. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love and compassion. I love you Lord. I need you this day and every day that follows. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen