Wonder, Renewal & Compassion

canoe webFriday, July 17, 2015

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Just when the apostles thought they would get a little breather, there was more work to be done. Sound familiar? The needs of the world pressed in upon Jesus. The word was out about the work Jesus was doing - the compassion that was sufficient to meet real human need; food for the hungry, healing for the sick and rest for the weary. The compassion of Jesus was defined by the way Jesus took notice and how he refused to look past the hurt - fully present with real hope.

Our youth canoe trip through Wilderness Canoe Base at the end of the Gunflint Trail was a renewing event. This kind of adventure is a time to be away, set apart from the usual routines and demands. While days are filled with a variety of activities, all requiring a good amount of exertion, it is all still very much restful.

This particular trip had its own pace. It had all the weather and conditions you would expect for June in the BWCAW: rain, high water, mosquitoes, muddy portages, ample sunshine, cool nights, and an occasional passing thunderstorm. We had great campsites along the way that gave us perfect space for tents, cooking and taking in the views of wilderness. One of them had an especially nice swimming beach and we took full advantage of it.

Swimming in cool and crystal clear waters is rejuvenating. It soothes tired muscles, takes away the itch from bug bites, and lifts your spirits. Swimming came at a perfect time, caring for the needs at hand and making us all glad to share in the adventure. On a deeper level the week provided a special way to nurture the gift of faith and foster gratitude for the many gifts freely given. Outdoor ministries of the church have known for a long time how the human need for wonder and hope are met when we find a good rest in the quiet places.

So as we share in worship and service in these summer days are we open to the compassion of Jesus who continues to come alongside of us? Are we ready to live into such compassion so we too may take notice of the needs around us for the sake of hope? Do we hear the call to the quiet places each day wherever they may be so we can be renewed in wonder and grace?

Pastor Randy