Today is Friday, December 15th
Light two purple candles.
Today, start by reading John 4:1-6
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. [ESV]
What kind of week had it been for Jesus? How was he feeling?
What kind of week has it been for you? How are you feeling?
Consider this quote today:
“And it seems to me the world is a manger, the whole bloody mess of it, where God is being born again and again and again and again and again and again. You’ve got your mind on so many other things. You are so busy with this and that, you don’t see it. You don’t notice it.” (Frederick Buechner)
Consider this truth today:
Jesus sees that all of us labor and are heavy laden and are in need of rest or are in need of him or in need of peace. What gift can you seek from him today?
Personalize it. How can your thoughts and these readings and prayers help you worship fully, give more, spend less and love all.
My name is Malia. I'm a teacher.
After twenty-five years in education, most of them in the classroom, I can tell you one universal truth about teachers: Teachers.Are.Tired. Truly, there is no tired that is quite like teacher-tired. I am certain you have seen the memes on Facebook, animated skeletons dragging themselves down school hallways or a comedian professing the often hilarious confessions of a tired teacher. The memes are never ending and poignantly true which is precisely what makes them funny. Because it sums up many of our teaching experiences in a single image or phrase, we instantly recognize ourselves and find humor in the absurd. If you don’t have any teachers in your circle of family, friends, or acquaintances, simply search Google images using the phrase “tired teacher” and you’ll have yourself a virtual field day with the images that greet you.
I can tell you from personal experience that at one time or another I have been the teacher most of the memes are depicting. This is never more true than when we are approaching the holidays. By this point in the school year, many of have of us have succumbed to the rarified, germy air and are walking around with a tissue tucked under our sleeve or are on a round-the-clock cocktail of decongestants.
Worn and weary? Definitely. And the wear is not just physical. It is mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Jesus, God in the flesh, must have felt very tired as he traveled from Judea back to Galilee. In fact, the scripture amplifies the description of his journey with the words once more, “….and he went back once more to Galilee”. So, we know the journey was one that Jesus repeatedly made. John tells us his journey was a long one having to travel through Samaria and that he stopped at Jacob’s well to rest. Imagine all the needs and burdens of the multitude to which he and the disciples had been ministering, all seeking relief that only a messiah could give. Imagine the weight of that. In fact, there was so much work to do, the scripture tells us that the disciples were assisting. We are told that they were doing the baptizing, and that while Jesus rested, they went to get food.
Surely, Jesus was exhausted and physically drained. We can all relate to that. Furthermore, in his exhaustion from the journey, Jesus can relate to us. Jesus can relate to me. Hold that thought. Let it sink in and say it out loud to yourself. Jesus can relate to me. This is powerful. God, through his son Jesus, fully experienced humanity. He knows what it is to be one of us, to be tired and worn by the world, and we, in turn, know that He understands our pain, our burdens, and how tired we are.
This Advent season I seek to rest in his presence, to sit down beside him at the well, and wait to be replenished with him. I also seek to be in his present, to transcend time, to the let yesterday and tomorrow fall away and to fully occupy the present with him. I seek the gifts of calm and contentment and the kind of rest that not only refreshes and replenishes my physical, mental, and emotional self but secures my eternal rest from the burden of sin.