Summary: Sermon for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B
Mark 6: 30 – 34 / Come Away With Me
Intro: One day Jack, a woodsman challenged Rex, his friend, to an all-day tree chopping contest. Jack worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break; while Rex had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, Jack was surprised, annoyed and disappointed to find Rex had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” said Jack. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.” “But you didn’t notice,” said Rex “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.” (Just Rest, a sermon by Darron Khan, Sermon Central.)
I. Immediately before this story in Mark, Jesus calmed a storm, cast demons from a man, healed a woman and brought a dead girl back to life. We don’t know exactly what period of time this covers; but, you will have to admit, these were no easy tasks. VS. 30 tells us the disciples had just returned from their missionary trip. They have all had a very busy day.
A. The following story appeared in a Tacoma, Washington newspaper, A basset hound, Tattoo hadn’t intended to go for an evening run when his owner accidentally shut his leash in the car door and took off with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, -- Terry Filbert, a motorcycle officer noticed a passing car that appeared to be dragging something; but as the vehicle passed he saw the basset hound. Officer Filbert managed to stop the car and Tattoo was rescued but not before he reached a speed of 25 miles per hour and rolled over several times (Just Rest, Darron Khan)
B. I can really relate to that story. Sometimes I have felt a little like Tattoo, haven’t you? We go through life a breakneck speed, “picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can.” And sometimes it just doesn’t seem fast enough.
C. Vs. 31a sounds like a comment on OUR time and OUR place. “For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.”
II. Many times I have had people joke with me about only working on Sunday. To those people I say that is just as true as the fact that the only time many of you sleep is during my sermon on Sunday morning.
A. When I first became a pastor, I thought when people slept in church, it was a comment upon my sermons. I even had a colleague once asked me, “Don’t you feel like you’re not doing your job well when people sleep during your message?”
B. As I’ve grown older, I have discovered that I can sit in my recliner for 5 minutes and nod off So I am less inclined to believe that sleeping in church is less of a comment on the service or the sermon than it is on the person who is doing the sleeping. We live such hectic lives that maybe instead of a sermon we should have nap time!
C. This passage from Mark should be a comfort to all those who nap in church. Vs. 31b “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”
III. VS. 33 ”But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.”
A. Things are a bit different today. People are not rushing to get to church ahead of the pastor. Church is only one of the many activities and distractions that fill modern lives. That doesn’t mean people are any less needy of the ministry of Christ.
B. We are a people besieged by activities and responsibilities that reshape even basic functions of life such as eating
C. Jesus offers a cautionary word to his disciples and the contemporary church. We need times when we return from our individual activities and re-form ourselves as the body of Christ.
Conclu: VS. 34 – “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Christ Jesus knew the frustration of having many demands placed upon him. Yet, in spite of the many demands placed upon Him, he had time for people. He had compassion on them. --- If Christ had compassion on the crowds, what are we to do? “It is because the trees are still that the birds come to them.” Each of us has the potential to bring to the world a unique perspective and wisdom gained from spending time with Christ Jesus in our quiet place.