I have two school aged children and seem to be surrounded in my life by teachers for whom the weeks of summer centred on August have a different rhythm. Those with connections to the school year also change gear at this time. The roads will be quieter at commute times and busier on holiday “changeover days”. For some it will be a time to take holiday. For others, it will be a time not to take holiday in order to avoid premium prices. For others, these weeks will not be any different.
The bible seems to acknowledge the need for human beings to mark the passage of time with rhythms. The poem of Genesis 1 describes a rhythm of “it was evening and morning….” and a weekly Sabbath is instituted. There are annual festivals and the writer of Ecclesiastes notes that there is a “time to plant and a time to uproot” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Jesus himself observed rhythms of engagement and withdrawal, of action and of prayers and took time out to recharge and to gain perspective. Worship and prayer was central to Jesus’ life. Where does worship, corporate or individual fit in our lives?
For many of us, our time of worship of God is at the centre of our pattern of life. We have found that prioritising worship helps us make sense of all the other demands on our time. At Frodsham Methodist Church we offer a wide range of opportunities to worship. I know that for some of you it is impossible for you to share in any of these. As a father of two I know the pressure that families are under. Families are often separated by great distances and grandparents often have significant child care responsibilities. We don’t expect people to fit into our pattern and we’re not about making people feel guilty about not being able to come to share in worship. One of the hazards of wearing a dog collar is that people feel that they must explain why they have not been at church. I do not keep records! If however there is something that we can do to help you, either to provide a time of worship together or to resource your devotional life at home, please have a word with me or indeed with your Pastoral Friend or the person who delivers your magazine. We’re about supporting people in their lives, not in adding further demands.
Whatever we’re doing this summer, perhaps we could take time to reflect on our lives and those around us and know that God is with us in all of the rhythms of life, seeking to give us that fresh, wider perspective. Perhaps we could all take time to ask, what is central to our rhythm of life and what is peripheral?
Grace and peace.
Blog posts written by the Minister and Members of Frodsham Methodist Church.