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Welcome to our website. Whether you want Weddings or Word from Wormingford, to find out about or services or to take a tour of our Churches, we hope you enjoy touring our website - and we look forward to meeting you in person.

Services for Sunday 27 July 2014

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), #1662 service

08:00 Holy Communion  # WF

09:15 Family Communion  MB

11:00 Parish Communion  LH

11:00 Morning Service  WF

18:30 Evening Service  LH

Services for Next Week (3 August)

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), # 1662 service

08:00 Holy Communion  # LH

09:15 Family Service  MB

11:00 Family Service  WF

11:00 Morning Service  LH

18:30 Evening Service  LH

Monday 4 August

19:00  WW1 Outbreak Centenary: Benefice Service of Commemoration  WF

Your coming in and going out

Look to the Lord and his strength

Seek his face always

(Psalm 105)

 

Readings for Sunday 27 July

Romans 8:26-end  & Matthew 13:31-33;44-52 (WF, MB, LH 11)

Song of Solomon 2  &  1 Peter 4:7-14 (WF 11:00)

1 Kings 3:5-12  &  Matthew 13:31-33;44-52 (LH 18:30)

Please pray for

Neighbouring Parishes – Bures St. Mary, with their new Priest-in-Charge Steve Morley; West Bergholt, Great Horkesley, Boxted & Langham where Mandy Elmes will be Licensed this Tuesday, and Myland where Rosie Tallowin prepares to leave for Harwich.

For the healing and wellbeing of Tony Clements, Dianne Gant, Hugh Houston & Hector Barr.

Commemoration of the Outbreak of the Great War

In early August, the World will pause to remember the outbreak of World War 1. This will be the theme of some of the services in the Benefice next Sunday, 3 August, including Family Services in Mount Bures and Wormingford – and the following week in Little Horkesley. Monday 4 August is the centenary of the outbreak of the War, and people are encouraged to come into our open Churches for prayer and reflection. At 7 p.m., there will be a Benefice Service of Commemoration in Wormingford.

 

Mount Bures Family Fun Day at Hammonds Farm

Sunday 17 August, noon – 4pm at Hammonds Farm, Hemps Green, Fordham CO6 3LS. Lots of activities are planned for all ages, including a BBQ, games and stalls, with a tractor and animals thrown into the mix! Email emma@hammondsfarm.com if you plan to go.

Three Churches Discovery Walk 20 September

Publicity is now out for the walk on Saturday 20 September.  Please distribute leaflets and posters widely, and remember to book in yourself! There will be something for everyone to do, whether walking, marshalling, refreshments or Church manning etc.

Future Events – Friends of St. Andrew’s Wormingford

12-14 September: Art Exhibition at St. Andrew’s

10 October (7 p.m.): Film Evening ‘Constable Observed (Ronnie Blythe 1970)’ WF Village Hall.

RichardB on July 25th, 2014

Ronald Blythe delights in seeing a scythe used to cut the orchard grass

SULTRY July days. Twin calendars rule them: the lectionary, and a writer’s. Thus our trip to Helpston, the birthplace of the great rural poet John Clare. It is exactly as we left it last year, except that a strange additional memorial rises over his grave. Dear once-a-year friends walk along the broad village street, with its handsome Barnack stone houses and towering hollyhocks.

Ringing the changes, my lecture is on Thomas Hardy, whose hands did not touch the soil; and Clare, whose hands drove the plough. Their days slightly overlapped – had they heard of each other? Neither could really operate, as it were, outside their own country-side. In their time, the “peasant” would become a “farm labourer”, and the bottom of the rural population.

And towards the end of the 19th century the British countryside would fall into a depression that would last until the opening of the Second World War, when food needs, and today’s non-traditional farming methods, would rescue it from decline.

I looked up Clare’s activities in July from his wonderfully useful The Shepherd’s Calendar. So far as I can tell, virtually nothing happens in Wormingford in July. You might have to squeeze past a hay lorry whose dizzy oblong load totters ahead, and whose driver waves his sunburnt hand. No women semi-dressed in the hay-making fields which so tantalised the young poet. What work does he list for July? Well, mostly anything which meant using a scythe.

I keep my scythe in cutting order with a whet-stone. I bought it in Stowmarket a long time ago, and I am enchanted this moment to see Adrian wielding it in the orchard. Softly, it lays the summer growth down in rhythmic folds. Greengages will tumble down on to them without bruising. You have to beat the birds where there are greengages. A week late, and they will be the debris of a feast.

Clare’s July village is noisy with “singing, shouting herding boys”, and bagpipes, as young Scots tramp down the Great North Road to seek their fortunes in London. Our car makes its journey through ancient lanes and motorways to the church at Helpston, where I sit on the chancel step to talk on England‘s most eloquent village voice, and a prolific one, so that the John Clare Society need never run out of subjects.

We come home to matins and evensong in two different churches, and to the lasting heatwave. Now, with the house empty, and the white cat thanking her god for summer’s torpor as she sleeps in the window ledge above what was the copper, I get back to routine, breaking into it now and then to pull up some giant weed. By farmy most wondrous July achievement this year is the sweet-pea wigwam: a score of bamboo rods that carry the flowers to heaven. A vase of them locked into a room overnight is the best welcome to a July breakfast.

Clare sees “the gardener sprinkling showers from watering cans on drooping flowers” as he tended both wild and cultivated plants behind his cottage. It could have been a statement on his own genius. His natural history was marvellously inclusive. It began when he was a boy, lying low in the summer grass, watching climbing insects; and it ended as the beautiful sane region to which he could escape from the “madhouse”.

Services for Sunday 20 July 2014

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), #1662 service

 09:15 Family Communion  MB

11:00 Family Communion  WF

11:00 Morning Service  LH

18:30 Evening Service & Communion  LH

Services for Next Week (27 July)

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), # 1662 service

 08:00 Holy Communion  # WF

09:15 Family Communion  MB

11:00 Parish Communion  LH

11:00 Morning Service  WF

18:30 Evening Service  LH

Your coming in and going out

 Those who are led by the spirit of God

Are sons of God

 (Romans 8:12-25)

 

 Readings for Sunday 20 July

Romans 8:12-25  &  Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 (WF & MB)

Deuteronomy 30:1-10  &  1 Peter 3:8-18 (LH 11:00)

Isaiah 44:6-8  &  Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 (LH 18:30)

Please pray for

Our neighbouring Parishes – for Revd. Steve Morley, to be licensed in Bures St. Mary on 22 July; Revd. Mandy Elmes, to be licensed to the Parishes of West Bergholt & Great Horkesley with Langham & Boxted on 29 July; and Revd. Rosie Tallowin, who has been appointed Team Vicar in the HarwichPeninsula. Her final Myland service will be on 31 August.

Our Churchwardens and other leaders, as we seek to extend God’s Kingdom in the Parish.

Our friends, Tony Clements, Dianne Gant, Hugh Houston & Hector Barr, their healing and wellbeing.

Mount Bures Fun BBQ

Mount Bures PCC are planning a fun BBQ lunch at Hammonds Farm, Hemps Green, Fordham, CO6 3LS on Sunday 17 August from 12.30 p.m. onwards. There will be a BBQ, drinks, cakes to buy and a raffle, with some traditional farm games (wellie throwing, egg rolling, splat the rat and treasure trail) with a tractor and some animals thrown into the mix!  Please email emma@hammondsfarm.com if you will be going, so she can prepare enough sausages!

Three Churches Discovery Walk 20 September

Publicity will be out next week for the Walk on Saturday 20 September. Mark the date in your diary – there will be something for everyone to do, whether walking, marshalling, refreshments, Church manning etc. Please promote the event in the Village!

Future Events – Friends of St. Andrew’s Wormingford

12-14 September: Art Exhibition at St. Andrew’s

10 October (7 p.m.): Film Evening ‘Constable Observed (Ronnie Blythe 1970)’ WF Village Hall.

RichardB on July 18th, 2014

Ronald Blythe visits the home village of one of England’s greatest poets

 

OFF to Helpston for the 32nd time. For John Clare, its native voice, the first Sunday in July was the Helpston feast: “Wrestling and fighting, the ploughman’s fame is still kept up with the usual determined spirit.” Like his contemporary, William Hazlitt, another quiet man, Clare accepts violence in the village. He walks away from it, and into his intellectual world.

“Saw a bird that was an entire stranger to me about the size and shape of a green linnet, and with wings of a brown-grey colour, the crown of the head a deep black that extended downwards no further than the eyes. Went to see Artis [his archaeologist friend] who tried to look it up in his bird book. It was an unnoticed species of the linnet tribe.”

Clare was all too noticed for his own peace of mind. A ploughman who wrote poetry? People came to look at him in the fields. He tried to hide – an impossibility in a 19th-century village. And now we continue to look at him from all angles.

I read him yet again, before Alan and I set off for what is now the Cambridgeshire border, early in the morning. And there it is, the walled park that cost a pound a yard, the Clare Society, his birthplace next to the pub where he worked, the pleasures of repetition. Although not too much in my presidential address.

The white cat sees us off. For her, the top of the farmtrack is Ultima Thule. Only once in a dozen years did I find her up it, and had to call her back to her own two acres. Meriel the organist is taking her cat miles away, and is dreading it. But long ago some Suffolk friends drove their cat, Holly, to Cornwall, and suffered more than he did. Neither did he recognise me when I arrived, having become Cornish at once.

Today, reading in the study, I watch the horses out of the corner of my eye. One wears a white mask against the flies, the other makes do with her tail. There they stand, deep in horse talk, which is silent.

I have allowed the Himalayan Balsam to riot. It has explosive seeds. Touch their capsule, and they’re off. A small child was more disconcerted than amused when invited to do this. Pretty flowers were not supposed to end their lives with such power. The gardener brushing against them with the mower is peppered with seed shot.

What do I say in church in early Trinity? Something I haven’t said before, if possible. Shall I read Francis Kilvert? What was he doing on a Victorian July day? He died so young – 39 – and a week after his wedding. His coffin was carried beneath the bridal arch.

William Plomer, the South African poet, published some of his diary in 1939. Amid all the parish duties, there is a longing for girls. It also contains one of my favourite clerical anecdotes.

The curate took his candidate for confirmation when the bishop arrived. They were both youthful and nervous.

“Stand up!” the bishop cried.

“But I am the curate, my Lord.”

“Stand up!” the bishop cried.

So the curate was confirmed.

This was on the Welsh border, you understand.

RichardB on July 18th, 2014

In a graveyard, Ronald Blythe sees old friends coming up the path

 

CONSIDERING that the majority of churchyards witness to 1000 years of tears, it is strange that they are so pleasant to visit, to wander in, to sit in on a summer’s day. “Peaceful”, the visitors book says over and over again. Peaceful inside and out. “Do you remember when we threw a tablecloth over that table-tomb and had lunch?”, I remind the lady doing the altar flowers.

The sky between the horse-chestnuts is enamelled blue. Opaque. Unseen birds call. Mown or unmown, the English churchyards are green and lively. Georgian gravestones totter, Victorian memorials soar, today’s slivers of slate don’t know what to say. Albert “Bert” in brackets. Rarely a biblical word.

I see them still coming up the path, the old ringers, the previous congregations. “So you’ve mended the wall!” It loomed out into the lane, and had done so for donkey’s years. “It’s the dead having a stretch.” An undefeated spring runs below it, freezing in the winter; so that we slip and slide to our cars.

But not now. It is high summer, the heat fanned by soft winds. Early Trinity, and we are to be clothed with humility. And then comes the scary bit from St Peter, “because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. . .” But the bees swimming in my balsam remind me of the poor dead lion on the treacle tin whose gaping carcase has turned into a honey-pot.

Neighbours move away. We say goodbye in the hospitable house. Already there are gaps where familiar things had stood. “Oh, but we will often be back – you’ll see.” But they won’t. Their time with us has ended. They walk round the big room, taking photographs. But the marks on the walls where the pictures have been say everything.

I talk to a gentle, ill man, coming closer to hear his whispering words. Yet there is happiness rather than sadness. A kind of acceptance for things as they are. St Peter, whose week it is, asks God to make us perfect, and to “stablish, strengthen, and settle us”. But it is unsettling when old friends move away. I mean, where will we go for Christmas-morning drinks? Have they thought of that?

Some have gone to Scotland, and there will be postcards from the white house above the loch to prove it. I see them opening the deer-gates to let the car through, and me waking up in the rare Highlandair, and then driving to Ben Lyon.

Perhaps the young shepherd will bring his flock down from the hill, or the Edinburgh minister will be doing holiday duty at the kirk. The shelves of Scottish history will certainly be toppling in the drawing-room. Half a mile from the house, they will encounter Queen Victoria and Mr Brown having a picnic.

Perthshire amazes me – its scent, its indifference to human needs, its vast parishes, its blue ranges which should not have been clothed with pine forests, its stern nobility. Will the pine-marten run along the wall? For we all like to think that the places which have become ours for a week or two possess a perpetuity for us alone.

The white cat has never been to the top of the track. “Tell me what it is like up there.” Dangerous: bends, haywains with bales, sabbath cyclists, congregations going home, dogs getting lost. She has made her summer bed in the vast stone sink which once stood in the farm kitchen. There she sleeps her nine lives away.

Services for Sunday 13 July 2014

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), #1662 service

 08:00 Holy Communion  # WF

09:15 Parish Communion  MB

11:00 Family Service  LH

11:00 Morning Service  WF

18:30 Evening Service  LH

Services for Next Week (20 July)

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), # 1662 service

 09:15 Family Communion  MB

11:00 Family Communion  WF

11:00 Morning Service  LH

18:30 Evening Service & Communion  LH

Your coming in and going out

 Your word is a lamp to my feet

And a light for my path

 (Psalm 119)

 

Readings for Sunday 13 July

Romans 8:1-11 & Matthew 13:1-9,18-23 (WF 8:00, MB & LH 18:30)

Deuteronomy 28:1-14  &  Acts 28:17-end (WF 11:00)

Colossians 3:1-4, 12-17  &  Matthew 11:25-30 (LH 11:00)

Please pray for

Our neighbouring Parishes – for Revd. Steve Morley, who will be licensed in Bures St. Mary on 22nd July, and Revd. Mandy Elmes, to be licensed to the Parishes of West Bergholt and Great Horkesley with Langham and Boxted on 29th July.

 The young people of our Parishes, as they leave school for the summer; especially those changing schools, going to University or out into the world.

 Those who will not be able to take a holiday this year, for one of many reasons.

 Pray especially for our friends, Tony Clements, Dianne Gant, Hugh Houston and Hector Barr.

Parochial Church Council (PCC) Meetings

There are two PCC meetings this week: Mount Bures, Tuesday 15 July, in the Thatcher’s at 7:30 p.m. (or 6 p.m. if eating first); Little Horkesley, Wednesday 16 July at 7:30 p.m. at Holt’s. Please pray for the PCC members of all three Parishes, that our worship and our work may be led wisely and well.

Three Churches Discovery Walk 20 September

There will be a ‘Three Churches Discovery Walk’ on 20 September. Publicity will be out soon. Please ensure the day is marked out in your diary, and encourage others to walk with us!

Friends of St. Andrew’s Wormingford

The AGM of the ‘Friends’ will take place on Tuesday 15 July at 7 p.m., at Garnons Farm. Future events:

12-14 September: Art Exhibition at St. Andrew’s

10 October (7 p.m.): Film Evening ‘Constable Observed (Ronnie Blythe 1970)’ WF Village Hall.

More Information

To volunteer to help with running your church, or for more information about anything in this Bulletin contact your Churchwardens or Deputies, or see your parish websites:

 www.wormingford.com, www.littlehorkesley.com or www.mountbures.com

 Items for inclusion next week by Thursday please to John or Churchwardens.

Services for Sunday 6 July 2014

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), #1662 service

08:00 Holy Communion  # LH

09:15 Family Service  MB

11:00 Family Service  WF

11:00 Morning Service  LH

18:30 Evening Service  LH

 

Services for Next Week (13 July)

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), # 1662 service

08:00 Holy Communion  # WF

09:15 Parish Communion  MB

11:00 Family Service  LH

11:00 Morning Service  WF

18:30 Evening Service  LH

Your coming in and going out

Those who have ears

Let him hear!

(Matthew 13:1-9,18-23)

Readings for Sunday 6 July

Romans 8:1-11 & Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

(WF 8:00, MB & LH 18:30)

Deuteronomy 28:1-14  &  Acts 28:17-end (WF 11:00)

Colossians 3:1-4, 12-17  &  Matthew 11:25-30 (LH 11:00)

Please pray for

Those countries torn apart by war; people living in fear because of insurrections and terrorism; persecuted Christians in dozens of countries worldwide; those suffering from extreme weather; our neighbours, that we may know them and serve them, and our new Bishop, Rt. Revd. Richard Morris, moving to Colchester.

Pray especially for our friends:

Tony Clements, Dianne Gant, Hugh Houston and Hector Barr.

John’s Surgeries

This week John will be available for a chat as follows:

Mount Bures – TODAY, 4-5 p.m. (in Church)

Wormingford – Monday, 10-11a.m. (Education Centre)

Little Horkesley – Saturday, 10-11a.m. (in Church).

You can read his thoughts for July in ‘Vicar’s Letter’ on the websites (addresses below).

Three Churches Discovery Walk 20 September

There will be a ‘Three Churches Discovery Walk’ on 20 September. Publicity will be out soon. Please ensure the day is marked out in your diary, and encourage others to walk with us!

Friends of St. Andrew’s Wormingford

The AGM of the ‘Friends’ will take place on Tuesday 15 July at 7 p.m., at Garnons Farm. Future events:

12-14 September: Art Exhibition at St. Andrew’s

10 October (7 p.m.): Film Evening ‘Constable Observed (Ronnie Blythe 1970)’ WF Village Hall.

More Information

To volunteer to help with running your church, or for more information about anything in this Bulletin contact your Churchwardens or Deputies, or see your parish websites:

www.wormingford.com, www.littlehorkesley.com or www.mountbures.com

Items for inclusion next week by Thursday please to Churchwardens or Deputies.

RichardB on July 5th, 2014

Ronald Blythe preaches about prison writers, and smells cake and flowers

 

AND from Anglican matins to East Anglian Nonconformity at Walpole Old Chapel on a burning Sunday afternoon. The cornfields sizzle, and the familiar scenes hurry by.

I mount the pulpit to talk about John Bunyan. We sing “He who would valiant be” with Tony at the harmonium, if not lifting the roof elevating our faith. The River Blyth flows out of sight; the graveyard is feathery and unmown.

The chapel was built a decade or so after Bunyan’s death, and it remains a perfect architectural response to what remains of our inbred Nonconformity. Beginning as a Tudor house, it was stripped out and simplified for God.

There will be tea and cakes – “This was the Queen Mother’s favourite sponge.” I wander about the burial ground. “And here they all are,” Nina, the poet, writes.

Samuel Stopher, Mary Stopher,
Timothy Sparrow.
All gone, come to full stops
Of stone.

When I was a boy, there was a lending library where I could borrow Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel novels for tuppence a time. It was a kind of corner shop, with immense timbers, and part of an ancient house where Bunyan had stayed when he came to give the Suffolk Dissenters a piece of his mind.

He was an impressive figure: large, commanding, muscular from humping an anvil about, and strong-voiced from preaching in the fields near Bedford. Had the Church of England not locked him up for this, he would most probably not have written a word. As with St Paul, and a whole host of prison writers, he called for a pen when the key turned in the lock.

I imagined Bunyan in the timbered room, now lined with novels; or tying his horse to a gigantic nail that protruded from the blackened king-post.

A marvellous find at Walpole Old Chapel was David Holmes’s An Inglorious Affair, which tells of a classic Nonconformist row in Suffolk in the 1870s – something against which the Trollopian quarrel of the Church of England scarcely raised a voice.

It all began with a harvest-tea meeting and an argument about singing the Gloria. A youthful organist asked the choir to sing it in the Congregational Chapel; the Baptists cried “No!” The Congregationalists then kept the Baptists out of the church for ten years. The whole town was up in arms over the Gloria – “In Halesworth, they talk of nothing else.”

Standing in the scrubbed, pale, and infinitely sane interior of Walpole Old Chapel, with the delicate scent of home-made cake and wildflowers drifting up the pulpit, and with Bunyan filling my head, all I could feel was this perfect summer’s day. Also a sense of ownership – that in some way I belonged here, and it belonged to me.

During the 17th century, it was taken to Massachusetts, this Puritanism with its arguments and triumphs – there to become native in a different sense.

Once, walking in Cambridge, Mass., with its London plane trees, and its Fogg Museum, containing a roof angel from a Suffolk church, I thought I could smell what I am smelling at this moment: some indefinable odour of place. Particularly when the sun brings it out.

Services for Sunday 29 June 2014

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), #1662 service

 09:15 Family Communion  MB

11:00 Family Communion  WF

11:00 Armed Forces Day Morning Service  LH

18:30 Evening Service  LH

 

Services for Next Week (6 July)

Mount Bures (MB), Wormingford (WF), Little Horkesley (LH), # 1662 service

 08:00 Holy Communion  # LH

09:15 Family Service  MB

11:00 Family Service  WF

11:00 Morning Service  LH

18:30 Evening Service  LH

Your coming in and going out

 I will sing to the Lord

For He has been good to me

 (Psalm 13)

 

Readings for Sunday 29 June

Acts 12:1-11  &  Matthew 16:13-19  (MB & WF)

Isaiah 49:1-6  &  Acts 11:1-18  (LH 11:00)

Ezekiel 3:22-27  &  Matthew 16:13-19  (LH 18:30)

Prayers

Continue to pray for all nations where there is bloodshed; and especially for innocent citizens caught up in fighting, who cannot see an end to their fear.

Many in Colchester are fearful following recent murders, and whole communities need reassurance. Pray that the Police investigations will be effective, and that local Churches can rebuild confidence and faith in the community in every sense.

Please pray for the large number of new Deacons ordained yesterday in Chelmsford Cathedral; that they will settle into their new Parishes; and pray that the Lord will continue to rise up new Church leaders.

Pray especially for our friends:

Tony Clements, Dianne Gant, Hugh Houston

and Hector Barr

and all who ask to be remembered in our prayers.

Flower Festival Thanks

Thank you to all who supported the Mount Bures Flower Festival last weekend. We were blessed with wonderful weather and a successful event. See you all next year!

July Family Services

The theme for July’s Family Services (next Sunday -6th – WF & MB; Sunday 13th in LH) will be “Summer Holidays!” We presume people in Biblical times didn’t lie on a beach for 2 weeks, but holidays, times of refreshment and breaks from routine, are important for everyone. What’s Jesus’ view, and how can it help us? Take an hour off from a busy Sunday, and join us at Family Service.

Friends of St. Andrew’s Wormingford

The AGM of the ‘Friends’ will take place on Tuesday 15 July at 7 p.m., at Garnons Farm. Future events:

12-14 September: Art Exhibition at St. Andrew’s

10 October (7 p.m.): Film Evening ‘Constable Observed (Ronnie Blythe 1970)’ WF Village Hall.

More Information

To volunteer to help with running your church, or for more information about anything in this Bulletin contact your Churchwardens or Deputies, or see your parish websites:

www.wormingford.com, www.littlehorkesley.com or www.mountbures.com

Items for inclusion next week by Thursday please to:

Churchwardens or Deputies.

RichardB on June 28th, 2014

Holidays are a favourite topic of conversation at this time of year. “Have you had your holiday yet?”; “Are you going far this year?”; and so on. My holiday is quite late this year, so I’m feeling just a little envious of those who are heading off this month, but at least I get to look forward to my holiday for longer!

 

Holidays, and regular times of rest and relaxation of every type, are vital for our continued well-being. We are encouraged to stop working at computer screens every hour (well, June certainly prompts me to do that!); we must take breaks from work every few hours; there must be times of rest and leisure in each day, a day off per week, and weeks off in the year. Plus, in some jobs, there might be Sabbaticals! Our bodies are designed to need those breaks, including rest and sleep, in order to recharge our physical and mental strength.

 

God’s amazing biological design is matched by his commandments and Biblical guidance. There’s to be a Sabbath each week (Exodus 20:11), and festivals for leisure and celebration throughout the year (Leviticus 23:37). Even in nature there are the rhythms of daily sleep; growth and hibernation; the Sabbath year (Leviticus  25:4) when fields lie fallow; and the Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8), the fiftieth year, after seven Sabbath years. Jesus, busy though He was, certainly rested (Mark 6:31), and also promised a different kind of rest: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). In this restless world where we feel we must keep pace with all around us, we can indeed find an inner rest, if we take time out to focus on Him. I’ll be trying to set time aside on holiday to do that – but, following the natural patterns, I should also find time to do that each week, each day, each few hours…. in fact, it’s remarkable how just a short whiles contemplation can revitalise the brain and body. Try it!

 

Whenever, wherever and however you spend your holiday this year, I pray that you will be able to set your heart at rest in the Lord’s presence (1 John 3:19), and that you keep the benefit of your holiday until the next one!

 

Yours in Jesus

 

John