Rest and renewal amid new rhythms

posted in: Andy Blogs | 0

Easter has come and gone! 

In the church calendar, the next big events are Ascension (when Christ left his disciples) and Pentecost (marking the pouring out of the Holy Spirit). Such markers can be a help with bringing rhythm and reminders during the year of different aspects of faith in Christ and connection to our lives.

Rhythm to life may have been something totally knocked out of the box for us in recent weeks. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that we have all had to adjust to finding new rhythms, to new ways of doing life. Though it could be that the word rhythm does not even seem the most appropriate one for right now.

In Mark 6:31, Jesus says to his group of followers, 

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. 

  • Words spoken amidst the news that Jesus’ cousin has been beheaded.  
  • Words spoken amidst a very busy period of time both for Christ and them (“they did not even have a chance to eat” it says in the text)
  • Words spoken amidst it being a very challenging time to actually find some space to rest (read the remainder of Mark 6 and you will see what I mean).

I appreciate that it may be hard to find space to rest and be renewed at this time. it may seem counter-intuitive. Yet I believe it can be possible in each of our different circumstances. Of course such space will look different for each of us. 

  • What might rest and renewal look like for you during these coming weeks?
  • Are you giving attention to ‘soul care’? (Christina speaks about this in the Sunday 19th talk based around Matthew 11:28-30)
  • If it seems totally impossible to find space to rest, would it be a help to talk with others about it?

I also mentioned the word ‘reminders’ above. Church calendar dates like Easter or Pentecost act in this way. Yet are there things that you and I can be building in to remind us:

  • to think about what can we be grateful for
  • who God is and who we are in Christ
  • about God’s promises?
  • to rest, exercise, eat a proper meal(!), have some fun
  • to reach out to others and see how they are doing.

These points above are not given as a ‘to do list’ to add to ones you may already have. But rather hopefully a reminder of things which will do us and others good.Maybe your reminder is a note or a Bible verse on the fridge, a notification on your phone, an aeroplane flying past your house with a banner (mmm, maybe that one is not that practical!). You know yourself, so use what will work for you.

I finish with some other words of Christ, taken from John’s Gospel which speak of peace (wholeness) rather than fear:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” 

(John 14:27, New International Version)

The months ahead may seem uncertain. Yet we do not have to be ruled by fear. It is possible to know God’s peace amid the circumstances.

Grace and truth