Sharing God's Love
From the Vicarage this month is written by Sarah Emmanuel who is currently training for ministry as a Licensed Reader.
It is July 8th, a day of glorious summer! A euphoric moment yesterday as England went confidently through to the World Cup semi-finals. There is hope and barbecue smoke in the air, the joy of exams ending and holidays beginning, summer dresses and suntan lotion coming out of the back of the cupboard.
We are always curious to know what will happen next in life. Will England beat Croatia? Who will win Wimbledon? What will exam results day bring? By the time you read this you will already know the answers to most of these questions!
But this is today and now, a moment to engage in and attend to and enjoy, to applaud what has already been achieved without worrying about what is to come.
For many of us August means holidays and a time of rest, perhaps a change of scene, a bit of peace. In his short but intensely busy ministry Jesus knew the value of rest and prayer. He took restorative time in a boat, in the desert, on a mountain to prepare to return to the clamouring community and meet its needs with compassionate action and healing. He said to his disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” Perhaps we all need to retreat from time to time from the active outer life to the inner life to renew and re-energise our hearts, minds, and bodies; to redirect our thoughts to what we love and care about, and reassess what matters most; to take time to wonder, to pay attention and to pray.
If August can be a time of rest and reflection, it can also be an opportunity to prepare in hope and expectation for whatever happens next which, though we may be apprehensive, isn’t at all the same thing as worrying about it! New class, new school, (new shoes!), the start of courses or work. For me this means beginning a placement in another parish for a couple of months as part of my Reader training in the diocese.
Whether you are going away, seeing family and friends, or enjoying August in our beautiful village, I wish you a restful summer so that, when Autumn comes, you will be ready to re-engage, refreshed, with work, school, the life of the community. Happy holidays!