It’s early morning in the Moughtin house and I reckon I have just five episodes of Peppa Pig to write this letter. We have three granddaughters from London in residence and it’s just them and me up!
So here goes.
Well, no sooner had the Olympic torch disappeared along Southport Road than we were treated to four days of Jubilee celebrations. For me the Sunday church service (attached photo) and a street party as well as the fete at the village hall. A great time and some memorable television (especially the Jubilee concert.)
Then today Euro 2012 kicks off giving us little time to recover (longer if England don’t get very far) before the Olympics begin on 27 July. This promises to be huge.
When all this ends, life is going to feel very mundane, flat even -with the whole extraordinary summer behind us.
For you can become high on hype. That’s my experience in ministry too, when everything is coming at you full on. Hardly a moment to think, your sole (soul?) focus is on keeping all these balls in the air.
It can be both draining and exhilarating – and it can be difficult slowing down to normal. I remember on family holidays we needed at least two weeks away – for the first week was spent simply slowing down to normal. Only then did we benefit from being away.
Mark begins with a bang. No sooner has his gospel begun than Jesus is busy in ministry. By the end of chapter one “Jesus could no longer enter a town openly.” Clearly there was a huge need pressing on him, literally with the crowds.
And Jesus’ response? To withdraw, to give himself time as well as space to be with his Father. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
I have never been a big fan of WWJD bracelets for the simple reason that Jesus often did the very opposite of what we would expect. And here is no exception. So the disciples eventually track Jesus down and tell him he is needed, desperately, now, right away.
And what does Jesus do? He decides to move on to the next village.
‘Let us go somewhere else so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’
We can become dependent on continuous activity with the need to be needed but Jesus shows us the importance of rhythm and the ability to say NO. He refused to allow his pace to be set by events, even by
the need of others. Instead we are called to keep in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25).