And the apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.…
It is not an indolent animal repose, but that rest of refreshment which befits those who have souls. Its elements are —
I. COMMUNION WITH OUTWARD NATURE. The world was made not merely for the support of man's body, but also for the nurture of his mind and spirit. What architect would build his house only with an eye to stores and animal comforts, paying no regard to its being a home for a man, with windows opening on wide expanses of land and sea, or quiet nooks of homely beauty? We should endeavour to make the inner world of our thoughts about God and spiritual things not a separate thing from the world of creation, but with a union like that between body and soul. If we could learn to do this aright, it would strengthen us in good thoughts, and relieve doubts and calm anxieties. Nature can do very little for us if we have no perception of a Divine Spirit breathing through it; but very much if the Great Interpreter is with us. If we surrender ourselves to this Teacher He can show us wide views through narrow windows, and speak lessons of deep calm in short moments.
II. INTERCOURSE WITH FELLOW CHRISTIANS. There will always be a want in a man's religious nature it he has not come into contact with hearts around him that are beating with a Divine life to the pulse of the present time. Every age, every circle, has its lessons from God, and no one can learn them all alone. Let us be more frank and confidential, also more natural, in our talk on these matters concerning our mutual faith and hope.
III. A CLOSER CONVERSE WITH THE MASTER. When we are doing our appointed work in God's world, or labouring actively for the good of others, our minds are dispersed among outward employments; we may be serving God very truly all the time, but we are careful about many things, and have not leisure to sit at His feet and speak to Him about our own individual wants. It is essential that we should from time to time secure leisure for this. The flame of devotion will not burn very long or very bright unless you have oil in your vessels with your lamps.
(John Ker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.