Finding a Place of Rest
Assistant Director – Chaplaincy
Bethany was a small village just outside Jerusalem, about two miles. The Gospels tell us it was the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, who were close friends of Jesus. There was another Bethany across the Jordan River near where John baptised but this one next to Jerusalem was a place where Jesus found rest and solitude. It is where, when he was invited to the home of a man known as Simon the leper, a woman anointed him with expensive ointment, much to the annoyance of at least some of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus sometimes spent the night there after a full day of teaching and arguing with the religious leaders in Jerusalem. It was the place he took his followers to bless them before his ascension.
A place of respite is essential for all of us. Jesus needed it. We need it. In this issue of the newsletter there is a story of the opening of the Kingsdene Respite Cottage. This unapologetic Christian ministry is very much in the mould of the ministry Jesus had to himself and his disciples. There’s a story about the hard choices people are making this winter – people who need respite from the constant, draining demands of having to make a choice about which basic need they will forego today. There’s a story about youth – young people who need respite from the demands of a society trying to shape them as they struggle to understand their own identity.
The greatest respite for these people, and for all of us, is relationship with the Lord Jesus who took rest on earth and has finally entered rest in glory. We enter that rest with him. The greatest thing we can do for all our clients is to be unapologetically Christian as we seek to provide for their material needs so that they enter life abundant, looking forward to rest in Christ for eternity.