Thoughts for the Month

The Right Reverend Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes, writes…

Dear Friends:

Before ordination I worked as an agricultural advisor. One client, a committed Christian, felt strongly that he should take his sabbath on a Sunday. Irrespective of the weather, the farm (it was only arable) would stop work on Sunday. Other clients who farmed locally were exasperated that he always finished his harvest first!

For many farmers this would be impossible, and this letter is not a polemic for the Sabbath Day Observance Society! However, there is a rhythm built into creation that tells us it’s not healthy to work all the time. My client found they worked more effectively the other six days, made fewer mistakes and worked more efficiently.

In our hyper-connected world, electronic communication means it’s always possible to be connected to the office, even if you are sunning yourself in Marbella. But ‘just checking your emails’ when you are away means you never really get the benefit of going on holiday in the first place!

In my experience, there is only one Messiah whose name is Jesus. He came to redeem the world and took time off for rest and recreation while he went about it. August is a wonderful time to follow his example. Most churches sensibly close down most of their activities to give volunteers time to recharge.

Worship remains crucial as part of the recreation and we are so grateful for our retired clergy and Readers who allow our clergy time off as well.

So, do switch off and wind down this month. The world will still be there when you get back; as someone wisely said, “The graveyards of England are full of indispensable people.”

+Richard

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