Rev'd Karen - August 2022

The Vicar’s Light Reflections

Light Reflections… “Let your light shine…” (Matthew 5.16)

I cannot believe that I am sat writing these reflections for our August edition of our Magazine! Where has the time gone! It genuinely seems to have flown by since the beginning of the year and I think this is in part because there seems to have been so much going in our United Benefice. This is good news and shows growth which I talked about last month and brings us so much hope for the future, time flies when you’re having fun so they say, so my prayer for this month is that we will indeed have fun during August and the holidays and come back in September refreshed and rested.

And it is in rest that I want to focus on this month. This has been a recently recurring theme in my times of prayer and study. Not so long ago our gospel reading on a Sunday was the wonderful story of Mary and Martha, where Jesus turns up at their home, with his disciples, on route to Jerusalem where Jesus will face his passion and crucifixion; he knows what will happen to him, but on the way, he takes time out to see his friends.

Martha goes into full blown hospitality mode, busy with the pots and pans and no doubt the dustpan. Mary on the other hand, is still, she sits by Jesus to listen to him as he talks; she’s happy to just be in his presence. Martha understandably is a bit peeved by this, after all she is doing all the work of providing a meal etc....but Jesus gently rebukes her by saying “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Martha is worried and distracted, she is unable to focus on Jesus, and she is letting other priorities get in the way of spending quality time with him, whereas Mary’s focus is solely on Jesus. Now, of course, we all need to be both Martha and Mary, having one without the other would mean that either no tasks get done or we would not be spending with Jesus in prayer or reading scripture. It is not either/or, but both/and...but maybe there are times where if we have been busy being a Martha, we need to take a leaf out of Mary’s book; so if we have been expending our energies on our to-do lists, maybe it’s time to stop and be still and rest in Jesus.

As we now enter holiday time, we perhaps may need to re-focus and turn to that rest and recuperation. As a Benefice and wider in our lives and society, post-Covid has meant, by and large we are getting more back to “normal”. Those things in our lives such as holidays, seeing family and friends, taking back up again our hobbies and social lives and in our Benefice, we have been busy with our new services such as Forest Church and our Summer Sundae Service. We have celebrated the Platinum Jubilee, held Last Night of Mellor Proms, and there have been Garden Parties, Summer Fairs, Walking Day’s, Rose Queen crowning’s; all has meant a flurry of activity. This has been welcoming, heartening and joyful, but maybe, we now need to hang up ourapron and work clothes for a while, and instead take this valuable time of holidays to just stop and be. Let us instead of being distracted, focus our minds and hearts on the one who is always with us and who is beckoning us to sit down by his feet, for He says “...My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14). Have a wonderful, safe, and restful summer.

Blessings, Rev’d Karen

Christ Centered...Kingdom Focused