Summer 2019

July and August has become the traditional time for family holidays. The long summer vacation for Schools enables a break from the daily routine which takes up most of the year. For most families this means the school run, work, shopping, evening activities. It is an opportunity to get away and rest before all the activity starts up again.

I remember many holidays from my childhood being spent in seaside places such as Great Yarmouth, Clacton, Margate. It was good to be by the sea! The beach, pier, amusements, ice cream, fish & chips. Very simple things but combined together all part of the holiday fun. The weather was less predictable with the sound of the rain bouncing off the caravan roof. This may explain why in the early 1970’s my father drove us all the way to Spain for two weeks of summer sun. It was rather a long way in a Land Rover but quite an adventure with the old heavy caravan on the back and the boat on the roof.

We all need a time of rest. It is a natural part of each day without which we grind to a halt. The same applies to the need for a holiday, a time when we can rest from life and enjoy each others company. If you feel tired and run down then you need a break.
The Church also needs a time of rest, a month in the year when all the usual activities come to a halt. There is also the opportunity to rest and plan for all the activities which will take us through to next summer. Jesus knew what it was like to be at everyone’s beck and call. He was followed by crowds who expected him to meet their needs. So Jesus had to seek solitude to connect himself to God and if he felt this need how is it that we sometimes think that we can manage life’s demands without doing the same.

We are encouraged to respect our physical body as the temple of the living God and are reminded of the need for regular rest for body, mind and Spirit. The Sabbath day is a weekly time of rest within which we worship God. It is when we are more likely to hear God’s word. It is in this sacred space that we grow our faith. Holidays are holy days when we connect to God and strengthen our faith to cope with all that life throws at us.

Rev Mark Binney