Curate’s Comments: switch pace and experience that ‘Sabbath’ rest
Looking back over the past few months, I am aware that a lot has been going on at church. During June, we enjoyed celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with teas in the churchyard and special services, and we also embarked upon the parish pilgrimage. This was preceded by a very busy and productive May. Now, the summer is approaching, which means that there will be slightly less in the diary. We have the chance to take stock and rest a little. Obviously this does not just apply to the church, but also to life in the wider world. For example, Parliament recesses for the summer, and Teddington becomes quieter as many families pack up and go away on holiday.
I am sure that a number of us look forward to those rare moments when we step out of our normal routine, with the opportunity to focus on “being” rather than “doing.” It strikes me that once or twice a year is not enough for this, which is probably one of the reasons that the Christian pattern of life revolves around a weekly Sabbath rest! When I was a small girl, this was the pattern of life in Britain to a certain extent, since shops did not open on Sundays, and generally there was less to do on that one day of the week. Nowadays we are 24/7 with both the internet and our activities; and whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that rest is something which we need to remember to do, rather than something we do automatically.
The notion of a Sabbath stems back to the first book of the bible, where God rested on the seventh day of creation. Rabbi Heschel, a renowned Jewish theologian and philosopher of the twentieth century, speaks about the Sabbath as a “palace in time” which it is up to us to build. He writes, “The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments. We must not forget that it is not a thing that lends significance to a moment; it is the moment that lends significance to things.”
With this in mind, I hope that the summer brings a refreshing time for you, whether you are resting at home or away. Enjoy the
opportunity to switch pace a little and experience that “Sabbath” rest.