Mark 6:32

So they set off privately in their boat for a lonely spot.


again rhythm again
good report grievous
renewal retreat survival


The Twelve were sent out, two by two, with very specific work to do. When they finally return to relate stories there isn’t much content for us. The reports were out of our earshot and we are left projecting our own reporting styles.

The clergy gatherings I have been in usually have a component of one-upping each other. Tales heard the last time we gathered are retold with a bit of embellishment. New stories, often more about the teller than those involved, find their calculated way into a gathering crescendo of victory in Jesus.

It doesn’t take long for the winners to come to the fore and a pecking order is reestablished. How different were the Twelve with acknowledged favorites by order of selections and/or teacher’s pets according to who gets to go along on various field trips?

Yes, after the tale-telling there was a busy time with people showing up; stories were retold, and the energy of the Twelve was becoming more and more concentrated among the elect. All this seems very natural and even normal.

If we are going to become increasingly inward focused there are two ways to go. One is to return to the road to reload stories of triumphing over evil spirits. Another is to go more deeply into the stories that have been told and peel them back until it is possible to again see themselves as servants with no power. At best they are catalysts where healings and everything can again become possible.

This second option is going to require a significant retreat until the Twelve can catch a clearer view of the tests they have been failing with their competitive spirituality claiming more authority than a simple gift of open compassion that only asks to see more in others than we can see in ourselves.

This needs some care as it will be easy to bend over backwards to simply be a vessel of G*D’s power without actually being a partner. This false humility is as dangerous as false pride.

Jesus and the Twelve are off to find a wilderness place in which a communal retreat can take place. While there is building expectation of even more authority in which to be anointed, there is also a sense of a need for self and mutual regulation. “Come away” becomes a hypnotist’s code phrase for rebalancing.

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