Church News August 2015
I am writing this less than two weeks before we are due to go away on holiday to explore the Island of Mull off the West Coast of Scotland. We loved what we saw so much last year that we’ve decided to return and discover more. It is also only a few days until our schools break up and both the children and staff of the schools will be looking forward to their holidays, as will the parents.
In an assembly a few weeks ago I asked some of the children where they were going for their holidays. Wales, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt were just some of the destinations mentioned. It all sounded very exotic.
We all look forward to our holidays hoping for fine weather, good uninterrupted journeys and time for relaxation plus some good food and wine. Holidays relax and restore us to cope with daily life. Without a break we become worn out and weary; our relationships suffer as we grow tired and irritable.
God knows our need for a regular break. The story of creation in the book of Genesis, at the beginning of the Bible, tells of how God “rested from all his work” (Genesis 2: 2) on the seventh day when the work of creation was complete. Jesus would try and take time to rest and pray although too often he would not have long before the demanding crowds caught up with him again wanting him to perform miracles and healings.
Sometimes Jesus would go alone, “very early in the morning, while it was still dark” (Mark 1; 35) so that he could have time to pray and be with God. The disciples went looking for him worried because everyone was asking for him.
There were times when Jesus took his disciples with him. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place to get some rest”. It seemed like a good idea at the time but people recognised their boat out on the Sea of Galilee and ran round the head of the lake to arrive before them so that as they landed people where on the shore begging for help. Jesus being the person he was “had compassion on them” and quickly started to deal with their needs (Mark 6: 30ff).
If God and Jesus needed a break then we too should accept that we need them and be willing to ensure that we take one from time to time. We should use part of our time away to draw closer to God in prayer and reflection as Jesus did – again if he needed time with his Father then surely we need it too!
So wherever you are going for your holidays this year, and whenever you go, have a great time; relax, exercise, eat, drink, read and sleep but do take time to recharge your spiritual batteries too. Remember that the seventh day in the book of Genesis was not simply designated as a rest day but a holy day!