2011-01-20 - Getting Away
Luke 6:12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. (NASB)
There's an old song written by Paul Williams and performed by a number of singers called "What Would They Say" (© Universal Music Publishing Co.). "What would they say, if we up and ran away from all the roaring crowds, and the worn out city faces ...". It goes on to describe moving away to the country and living a much simpler life. It's a very idyllic sweet song. A lot of people can identify with that feeling. The world is becoming a cacophony of noise and it is harder and harder to find that quiet away time, down time if you will to recharge your batteries.
It's here that we find Jesus doing just that. He is about to embark on his three year ministry to the people of Israel - "to proclaim the acceptable day of the Lord" (Luke 4:8, Isa 61:1-3). The Lord would bring to the people common and high the heart of God toward His people. Worship had become wrapped in robes and covered over with gold and masked rituals. God wanted worship and fellowship, not just obedience.
Before Jesus stepped on to the road that He would travel for the remainder of his earthly life, He stopped and prayed with God. In the morning He would select twelve men to be his disciples to teach - to strip away all of the trappings and get back to a simpler relationship with God. That relationship would no longer require the intervention of the priesthood, but be more personal. This is not to discount a man who dedicates his life to God's work - teaching and reaching out to the community. Jesus knew He would be opposed at every turn, and many people would be indifferent and some would resist the change. Three years of work that many of us fail to comprehend in scope was about to unfold.
But here Jesus stops and recharges His spiritual batteries. He sets an example for us that He would repeat periodically. Why do we pray? If it's only when we are in trouble then we are missing half of the relationship. Why did God write a book? Because He wanted us to see and understand so many things that are common to us - that even good men fail and God still loves them, God loves us and has paved a way for us to know Him, that God is interested in the details of our lives, and He has reopened the door to eternal life with Him.
How do we know that 2+2=4? Someone taught us. How do we know that God has a plan for us, what He has for us, how do we follow His way? God wrote a book. He wants to teach us. The best way to learn is to get away to a quiet place either alone or with people who are also interested in the same topic. Try getting away from the roaring crowds to recharge now and then. Selah.
Grace & Peace,