Why a sabbatical?

I was going to post a blog about rest last week, but I ran out of time…

We’ve been looking at the whole theme of rest in our GIFT groups as we’ve been exploring Hebrews 3 and 4. We don’t often talk about the theme of rest in our churches, but it’s a term that everyone is familiar with, and something we all need! This shouldn’t surprise us because God built rest into the creation process, and it should be as important to us as work and sleep and eating. I guess however that we tend to feel rest is something a bit negative, it’s about doing nothing, when in our busy, world we should constantly be doing something. But that isn’t how the writer to the Hebrews talks about rest. For him rest is a product of a right relationship with God, and ultimately this rest points forward to the time when we will be at rest with God forever.

All this suggests that we should start to think of rest as time spent actively in the presence of God. What form that rest takes is I suppose down to your individual preference.  For some it might be doing patchwork, for others going for a long walk, or playing a round of golf. But however we think of our time of rest or recreation, the most important point is that we actually have some!

That’s one reason why from 24th January to 13th March next year I will be taking a sabbatical, an extended period of rest to spend time with God, to be renewed, refreshed and hopefully come back restored after what has been a very difficult year personally. This doesn’t mean the life of the church will close down! On the contrary St Michael’s and St Barnabas will continue to worship and function as before, and with new people taking on new roles maybe even new gifts and ministries will be discovered. But I know I need this period of rest. I have various things planned, but some of my time will simply involve catching up with the Lord, and spending quality time with Him.

I will be giving more details about what I will be doing nearer the time. But I would be grateful for your prayers for the family and myself as we prepare for this time. And I will try to keep you posted as to what I am doing. If I have the time…


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