Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember to find a solitary place where we can pray each day. Amen
Reading: Mark 1: 29-39 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Well, it is Groundhog Day and poor Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticator, will have to come out of his hole so we can all know if spring is just around the corner…or (gulp!) not. That poor groundhog. Maybe he just wants to be left alone?
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (v. 35) Now, there is a good reason to get up early in the morning and, I think it is safe to say, for most of us if we are up that early we would rather be alone. At least until the coffee kicks in. Well, Jesus had his quiet time, but sure enough once the others awoke, they went to look for Jesus.
What I think is really cool about this passage is that after this solitary time of prayer, Jesus had a plan; a plan he came to while alone with God, away from the busyness of the day before when he healed many and despite the fact that, “Everyone is looking for you!” His plan? “Let us go someplace else…so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (v. 38)
I don’t put a whole lot of faith in weather forecasting by whether or not a groundhog sees his shadow first thing in the morning of February 2nd, but I do believe if we take some solitary time each day to pray, we will have a better idea of what our next steps should be and why we are taking them. Thanks be to God! --Ruth Gates, Camp Mount Luther Family Camper
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