Gimme A Break

Thursday will arrive soon.  The sounds of joy will echo throughout our city - specifically between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Loading into buses, walking with backpacks, and driving out of the school parking lot, students will eagerly depart the classroom knowing that, thanks to Winter Break, school will not resume until January 7th. 

Whether they are on the Honor Roll or just out of Detention Hall, students look forward to a rest from quizzes, papers, and lukewarm half-pints of milk.  Some will hit the slopes with friends, others will sit in the island sands far away, and still others will sit on couches with thumbs ablazin' on the controller.  Some, who are unfortunate enough to have received an assignment from a teacher who forgot the meaning of "break," will frown as their homework keeps them home.

Thankfully the Teacher understood the value of a break.  Among the red letters in the sixth chapter of Mark's Gospel, we "hear" Jesus invite His apostles to . . .

vs 31 - “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Prior to hearing that invitation, the disciples were busy doing various works of ministry and teaching - so busy that they had to skip breakfast and lunch.  So, as Mark tells us . . . "they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place."

It appears that they will have a "Winter Break" of their own - minus the winter.  The subtraction continues however.  The "But" that begins the next sentence alerts us to a change of plans.

vs.33 - But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.

I can almost hearing them saying, "Gimme a break" - and not as a request for a KitKat Bar.  (Are you singing the jingle now?)  Yet we discover as we keep reading Mark's account that no break came their way.  In fact, the tired disciples hear from Jesus again, but this time it is a command rather than an invitation.

vs 37 - “You give them something to eat.”

Mark leaves it to our imaginations to fill in the thoughts running through the Twelve's weary heads.  They certainly were not thinking how excited they were to receive more work.  Nevertheless, notice what happens next.  Over 5000 people were fed as God multiplied five loaves and two fish.

As you live your Ordinary Life, sometimes your breaks will be interrupted.  You may be surprised by what an invitation will bring.  Sure, sometimes it will bring frustrating busyness.  Other times, however, it will bring a profoundly exciting experience that you do not want to miss.


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