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You Might Need a Respite. John 6.1-13

John #24 This morning I was walking my two dogs--one who can be a little nutty, truth be told. Philly, pictured, pulled toward a grass strip and I gave her slack on the leash thinking she needed to do her business. But do you know what she did? She tucked her head and took a leisurely roll in the cool grass, looked up at me then got back up again! Guess she needed a little rest … a little respite. Something about it amused the heck out of me - and I flashed on this John 6 passage. It is a familiar story1 - Jesus needs some r and r, tries to get away from the crowds a bit, but they are hot on his heels. I mean, no one has ever talked like this man, no one has healed people before their very eyes. No, there had never been another like this Jesus of Nazareth! Though the disciples bid Jesus to send the people away because they have no way of feeding such a crowd, [], Jesus multiplies the lunch of one young boy and feeds more than 5000 people as they sit down on the grassy hillside above the beautiful Sea of Galilee! Permit me to shift our focus from how Jesus ‘made do’ with a young boy’s lunch to miraculously feed the huge crowd, if you will …                                I am struck by the urgency with which the people went after Jesus.         I should like to buy some of that urgency, please.  In what retail establishment might I find an aerosol can of “Passion for Jesus” to spray on folks?  If I go to the Apple store, will someone direct me to an app that will spread zeal for Jesus Christ through our land, across our world, and via the internet through my Morning Briefings, going to 145 countries, so that people will stop dilly-dallying and truly seek out Jesus? Just reading John’s account of how desperately these people wanted to be near Jesus reminds me of how attractive being near Jesus truly is. After all, Jesus is the One who can heal our land…  the One who can calm our hearts…         the One who will set our feet on solid ground…         the One who can heal and restore our bodies…  the One who invites us into living differently daily... the One who helps us live not somehow, but victoriously! Can you imagine? Why, things would radically change in our world today if we sought Jesus with the urgency of those folks following Jesus around the lake! Though hungry and tired, they did not head home, but instead just had to be near him. They wanted what he had to offer - lo, they desperately wanted it - so they staked out positions on the hillside grass.  Philly reminded me today that just a little respite on the cool grass is needful sometimes. For you too. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father praying for us today2; he is on the job, so we don’t always have to be - we can trust in him. We can actually sit down on the grass and rest a bit. Thanks, Philly. You can give up control to the One who loves you so, and you too will have rest and a much needed respite. Christine 1 - Sometimes we need a different angle on an all too familiar story so we can see with fresh eyes 2 - Romans 8.34

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