Wednesday. Rest.

I read Matthew 11: 28-30

Deep in the redwoods here in Sonoma County is a retreat center called St. Dorothy’s Rest. Over the fireplace in one of the cabins is a quote by the Roman poet, Ovid: Take rest; the rested field yields a bountiful crop.

I think about this.

We never see Jesus rushed or harried. He moves deliberately, purposefully. And throughout His ministry, He sometimes leaves the crowds, even His disciples, for solitary places. When Jesus is weary, He rests and prays.

The thing that now awaits Him must be approached with preparation. He has cleansed the Temple, and poured out His last drop of ministry upon the people. Now He must be replenished.

Here, in the middle of His final week before death, Jesus withdraws to Bethany. No details are provided.

I think it is important to note that He chose the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. It is a safe place with dear friends who know Him. There will be meals and companionship, if desired, quiet when needed.

Rest.

Lauren F. Winner writes in her new book, Still: “My Bible is open to the fifth chapter of Luke. The story tells us that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. What can it mean for a place to be lonely? A place, lonely like Jesus? Lonely like me? Maybe I can make my loneliness into an invitation – to Jesus, that he might withdraw into me and pray.”

I like this thought. And Jesus is facing loneliness on a scale unknown to any human being. Ever.

Today provides an opportunity for us to ponder what is to come. Perhaps we can withdraw for a time today ourselves – and make our aloneness an invitation to Jesus.

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