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Come with me to a quiet place
- a season of Gathering

Mark 6:30-31 says
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

After a season of mission and ministry, Jesus invited his disciples to gather with him to a quieter place for rest.  The next few chapters talk about how mission kept on breaking in but they did succeed in getting away before another season of mission ministry started.

Acts 14:26-28 says
From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.

Here is another example of the early church (in this case Paul and Barnabas returning from the first of 4 missionary journeys), imitating not just the words and works of Jesus but also the way (or pattern) of Jesus:  In this case, a season of scattering on mission followed by a season of gathering in community.

In our own small way as a church we are attempting to do this in the next few months.  After a big year of transition and increased engagement in the community, we are heading into a season of gathering.  It doesn't mean all mission is stopped, it just means we are shifting our emphasis - having a church camp, gathering for more meals, holding some small groups, and doing some intentional reflection on what we have been doing.


David Wanstall, 30/01/2014