Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:
“Where have you been, young man!?” I heard that phrase or something like it on more than a few occasions in my youth. I had been spending time with friends and lost track of time. My parents were worried about my well being and they also wanted to know where I was - it’s a parent thing.
“Where have you been? You’re on in 30 seconds!” I’ve heard that phrase spoken in films, on television and I’ve read it in stories about conceited performers who care nothing about the rest of the performers with them. They only care to bask in the glow of fame. In most of the films, television shows or books I’ve seen or read, the conceited performer learns a lesson in humility and grace by the end of the story.
“Everyone is looking for you!” I’ve read that phrase, as it was spoken to Jesus while he was seeking a bit of solitude from the crowds who were looking for him to seek healing.
What’s similar about these three situations?
In all three, someone is away from where they are expected to be. In all three those who are seeking the missing person seem to have a bit of anger in their words as they address the found person.
The first two seem justified – but the third? Would the disciples dare express anger at Jesus when all he was trying to do was to spend some time in prayer and solitude?
Jesus didn’t respond to whatever anger was in the voices of the disciples – but he also didn’t respond to them with an apology and a return to where he was expected to be. (In the first two situations, an apology would be expected, right?) Instead, he sought a little more time to rejuvenate by traveling to some towns where folks hadn’t yet heard as much of him. He traveled away from a place that was likely sucking the life out of him to places where his fame was smaller.
- Are there places in your life where your energy is being sucked dry?
- Do you need to spend time in solitude and prayer – and then head someplace else?
- Are you just coming back after being gone without excuse? Do you need to apologize?
- Are you thinking anything else about this week’s Bible reading from Mark 1:29-39?