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East Trent Churches

Reflections

August 2017

Dear Friends,

To go with my random collection of teacups and mugs, I’ve got a small and varied collection of coasters. One of them was a gift from an understanding friend and it says on it, How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards. Well I’m not very good at doing nothing, but I am looking forward to my summer holidays with family and friends, to times when I won’t have to do anything, with time for different activity and with some space for my favourite occupation which is daydreaming.

I do like the word holiday much more than words like vacation or break, because it means more than a welcome pause of nothingness between periods of work. Our word holiday comes from Holy Day, and in mediaeval times, workers were given time off to celebrate Saints’ Days and go to church. Those holy days also included feasting, drinking, dancing, playing the fool and generally making merry. I’m glad we still get to celebrate holy holidays like that at Christmas and Easter.

Another word for holiday which I love is recreation. This means that in our times of rest, we can be made new again, refreshed and revived and it reminds me of the creation stories in the Bible. In those great stories we read that God rested when God saw that everything was good and God’s rest was part of his creation. That’s why the pattern of setting aside one day a week for rest, recreation and worship was established.

I love the Gospel stories in the Bible which tell us that Jesus went away by himself to rest and pray and that he taught his disciples to do the same. He set a good example of rest, recreation, prayer and active work which is good for us to follow.

Well, whatever you do this summer, whether you travel to exotic places, have a day at the seaside, take a walk by the river or spend more time in the garden I hope you find rest and relaxation. Whether you take up a new hobby, read a book, watch a good film or catch up with an old friend, I hope you find real recreation.

If you’d like to find some peaceful space to think or pray, do remember that we’ve got a wealth of beautiful buildings and churchyards. Please check the various notices for opening times or have a word with me or a churchwarden.

I hope you have a very happy August.

God bless you.

Revd Mandy.