Any day now the holiday season begins in earnest. Perhaps after months of work or dreary routine we are looking forward to a rest and a break, or at any rate enjoying a week or two away with our family and friends.
A regular holiday seems to punctuate the year and gives us something to look forward to and – just as importantly - something to look back on and talk about afterwards.
Our one hope is that it won’t be spoiled for any reason: bad weather, disagreeable companions or poor organisation. It might be a long time until we get another chance.
The only time we hear of Jesus trying to take a holiday it was wrecked because of the crowds.
After a gruelling time touring the villages he tried to go with the apostles to a quiet place by the lake. But when they got there they found the crowds had beaten them to it.
Instead of trying to escape Jesus turned the situation around and began to teach them as they appeared to be ‘sheep without a shepherd’.
He showed no anger that his holiday had been ruined: instead he saw it was a chance to do his Father’s will.
Then he made them all sit down to share in a gigantic and celebratory free picnic by miraculously multiplying five loaves and two fish. There’s a message there for us too, but what a holiday party.