Musings from the Manse 14 February 2021

I have been struck during this current Lockdown how I have sometimes found myself having less time than when we were not in Lockdown. I remember those balmy sunny days of being able to read and sit in the garden drinking tea, yet now so much of my time seems to be spent in front of a computer screen. One common issue people seem to have had is going suddenly from being very busy, to not being able to be out and doing things. Yet this Lockdown time can sometimes be more draining – the more we discover we can do on our computers and phones, the more we do and the less we rest. We also become more aware of people in need from isolation, illness, unemployment, that we strive to meet as many needs as we can. This can lead to burnout and to guilt from not being able to do as much as we would like.

Jesus soon found that word spread about how he could bring healing and wholeness to those with all kinds of illnesses and conditions. It seemed the more he told people not to say anything, the more the news leaked out. People flocked from far and wide to find that newness of life that they thought was beyond their dreams. As people came, so Jesus healed. Yet, we see an important lesson here. Jesus still made time to escape from everyone, to pray and to rest – for those two activities are inextricably linked. We must never fall into the trap of being so busy, of trying to meet every need, that we feel we have no time to stop, to pray and to rest. It has been a place I have found myself, particularly during this Lockdown, and I suffer, and those closest to me suffer as a consequence. 

For here is the comforting news for us, before we are called to be people of action who seek to meet the needs of others, we are called to be sons and daughters of God, in relationship with him; nourished by him; finding health, rest and peace in him. When the Jewish people of God found themselves in exile in Babylon, exhausted and presuming all hope was gone, there God spoke through Isaiah those words that we read today. There is no situation, no prince or ruler, no pandemic, that is over God; and God desires his people discover that strength and refreshment that can only come from him.

So, I urge you all to make space in your day, whether you are busy or not, just to wait on God; to stop thinking of others, or even of your own issues, and just rest in the presence of God. Make space to be reminded that God is your loving Father, you don’t have to do anything to earn that. Make space to be refreshed in the knowledge that there is no situation bigger than God, and that it isn’t your responsibility to fix every need you see. It is important for us to put our faith into action for the good of the world, but this should always come from a place of being strengthened by God. So, today, just stop and rest in God. 

I have added a lent calendar to this week’s musings, print it out, then every day during Lent choose one self-care activity to do and colour it in, may all of us use this Lent to take a bit more care of ourselves.

Rev Nik Wooller

14th Feb 2021

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lent hearts

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