One of the great dangers of modern life is our obsession with proving how valuable we are. This is seen in the busyness with which we surround ourselves. Being “so busy” becomes this strange and perverted badge of honour. Even though Jesus may well have been extremely busy – and we see it very clearly in the continuing description of the first day in the public life of Jesus that the opening chapter of Mark describes. Yet, even though he is healing and driving our demons in the synagogue, in private homes, in the crowded streets – he never loses his primary focus. As this first crazy Sabbath day concludes and the next day begins with the descent of darkness, Jesus escapes from the house while it is still dark to find a deserted place where he could be alone with his Father. If Jesus needs to find this space in his life to pray – and each Gospel is very clear on the strength of the personal prayer life of Jesus – how much more do we need to do the same.
The prayer of Jesus is interrupted by the disciples who come searching for Jesus, telling him that “everyone is searching for you” wanting more of that special Jesus touch and his unique teaching authority. But even though it would make logical sense to go back to the synagogue in Capernaum, he announces that it is time to move on. Jesus has this strong orientation towards the ultimate good in his life – God. All of his focus is directed at God and the goodness that life in God offers. He is not distracted by the crowds who only want the signs and wonders and not the deeper call to life in God that discipleship provides. Se he moves on. And he invites us to do the same. To recognise that often all of the seemingly good things that we crowd our life with can sometimes crowd out the only truly good thing that matters.
+ Jesus, help us to make space in a deserted place to be alone with you in prayer, that we may reaffirm our fundamental yes to life with you.