The gift of time
'˜Bank holiday.' Sometimes these can be two of the sweetest words in the English language.
For some people of course, Bank holidays are no different to normal.
But for many of us they offer a day free of the usual work and activity.
This month treats us to two, and (hopefully) just as the temperature is warming up.
I’ve decided to build a BBQ to celebrate. So, I’ll be out there grilling away, come wind, rain or sun (and probably some combination of all three.)
They can be great days to catch-up with friends and family, to relax, or to head out somewhere familiar or someplace new.
I can’t help but feel that we need that sort of rhythm in our lives.
There’s satisfaction (necessity even) in working when we can, but this should be complemented by rest and relaxation.
For me, as a vicar, I’m pleased that the Bible seems to see things the same way.
Right from the beginning of the Scriptures, there’s a pattern for life that includes a day of rest.
I see it in Jesus’ life as well.
It’s amazing to think that he was only active for around three years, and yet seemingly did so much.
And yet, the accounts of his life in the Gospels also include the stories of his down time.
He goes to wedding parties, enjoys meals with friends and strangers, and even grills some fish over a charcoal fire. (That’s a great endorsement of BBQs)
If Jesus saw the value of taking some time out, to be with people or even to have some quiet time alone, who am I to disagree?
Of course, he also used that time to pray, to consider his purpose in life and to draw strength for what lay ahead.
I hope that you get the chance this month, whether on a bank holiday or not, to take some time out.
Perhaps some time to think, some time to relax, maybe even some time around a BBQ with friends and family.
Our time can be a real gift, for ourselves and others, so may we use it well.
Thy Kingdom Come
From the 25th May to 4th June, in-between the church’s celebration of Ascension and Pentecost, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is an invitation to join in a world-wide prayer movement. For Christians, this is an opportunity to commit to pray with God’s world-wide family - as a church, individually or as a family. Churches will hold prayer events, such as 24-7 prayer, prayer stations and prayer walks, across the UK and in other parts of the world.
Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days, including 24-7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Cathedrals, churches and other venues will host Beacon Events, gathering people across towns and cities to worship and to pray.
There’s also an invitation to those who don’t usually pray to discover how and why Christians not only believe in God, but a God who we can know and talk to – share our lives with. There are ideas, news and resources for churches and individuals at http://www.thykingdomcome.global
The Christian Institute is holding a series of presentations on the theme of ‘Standing for Christ in the Public Square.’ In particular this will look at how faith in Christ can be both personal and public and some of the issues around what that means in our society today. There’s one in Sussex planned for 10th May at All Saints Church, Church Road, Crowborough, TN6 1ED at 8.00pm.