13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. Matt 14:13 (NRSV)
Once again, Jesus looks for a place to be on his own. Deliberately finding time to be quiet. Once again, he’s about to be interrupted by literally thousands of (hungry) people. But just for a moment, can you hear him exhale? Can you imagine his pulse slowing, his breath steadying, his heart warming as he focuses on spending time alone with His Father?
In August, we’re going to spend some time week by week talking about prayer - and so I am loving stumbling on these moments when Jesus snatches what seems like literally seconds of prayer before he is inundated with people.
My guess is, whatever sort of household you are in, you will know that feeling of “I’ve got to get out” when the demands and noise around you are just too incessant. Especially now after months of being in self-isolation, or in various levels of quarantine. After having your kids shut up with you for week after week, or your extravert roommate spending hours on zoom, or your argumentative neighbors indicating that lockdown is stressful…. finding space and time to simply be quiet with God can feel like a mountain to climb - but if you haven’t got a boat to set out on a lake - perhaps you can hide in the bathroom for a while and just allow yourself to be with God.
In this passage Jesus does not obviously use words - so my prayer for you today, is that you will be able to ‘pray without words’, and to let God speak in whatever way he chooses into your quiet. I am so looking forward to adventuring into deeper prayer with you all through August! And then in the Fall, we will be looking more at the theme of ‘power’: it is vital to be grounded in prayer first!
So, what else is new?
A new form: here and linked in the WEDNESDAY email this week a form for signing up for Garden Church. This is now how you can connect with a host EACH week. Yup! It only takes a minute - but you do have to fill it in every.single.time you want to go to a Garden Church. There’s also the option to come and join us in the morning at the Chapel as we record. BUT note: we are recording, it’s not a full service, it’s not ‘the way it used to be’... however, 2-3 people would be welcome to come each week and provide some ‘voice of the people’ back up! Let us know by filling in the form if you’d like to join us! We are working on how best to be sensible as we continue to open up gradually to community worship opportunities.
This Sunday, Quauhtli is preaching - we so look forward to hearing from him! You can always find the lectionary readings here if you want to read them in the week ahead, and prayerfully prepare for Sunday.
See you on Sunday!