7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
Do you feel, as I do, the tension in this passage? I see Jesus wanted to share intimate, quality time with His disciples, but He always responded to the needs of the crowds that pressed around Him.
During this Lenten season and beyond, I am going to continue to spend personal, intimate time with Jesus. It is part of my pattern to pray Monday – Friday for an hour at 7:30am with a group. I practice a fast the first Tuesday of each month. What I will do going forward is invite and challenge those who follow me to follow by evaluating the time and fervor they spend in prayer. And, I will build some new prayer times around their decisions. I believe we can all find an appropriate balance between devotion and mission.
Chuck McKinney, Pastor
Valley Christian Church – Concord