Christ Invites Us to Come Away | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
December 2011

Christ Invites Us to Come Away

By Rori Blakeney (SEJ)
It’s midnight. I still have Sunday School to plan. What are we doing for youth meeting? There’s Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and the first quarter of next year pressing in on me. This is just the beginning of my list. Then, I hear the sounds of Norah Jones belting out Come Away With Me. In the midst of this sometimes, crazed world of youth ministry, I hear this song with fresh ears. It is no longer that sultry invitation to a world of romance. Instead, I hear an invitation from a loving God to stop. That’s right, stop! I have been in the rat race far too long. I have been on that wheel that just seems to be going around and around. It is time to stop and rest that I might be recreated in God’s image. So when I hear Norah’s song, it is as an invitation to Sabbath Rest and Renewal…a personal offer to draw close to God. It is God calling me to be in Holy Communion with the Divine. So, I slowly move away from the office and turn the radio is off. I find Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” And so, in the stillness of the night, I take time to practice Sabbath Rest and renewal. This might be what the hymn writer William D. Longstaff meant when we wrote Take Time to Be Holy. Reflect upon his words this week. 1. Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek. 2. Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see. 3. Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide; And run not before Him, whatever betide. In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord, And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word. 4. Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul, Each thought and each motive beneath His control. Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.