2 minutes reading time (318 words)


These days after Easter are traditionally a time for the clergy to take a breather after all our strenuous exertions over the previous few weeks. Only, this year it hasn't been particularly strenuous for me. I haven't been rushing around to services and meetings and visits  - initially because of my leg issues, and latterly because, well, none of us has been able to get out much, have we?

And I'm glad of this. Partly because I'm quite lazy by nature, but mostly because I resist and resent the pressure (mainly self-imposed, it's true) to define myself by activity, by how busy I am. When people say to me, as they quite often do, "You're a very busy man" - by which they often mean, "...and so you won't have time for me" - I want to reply: "I'm not so busy, here I am". I want to be available, and that isn't the same as being busy. In fact, to be really available, I need to be deliberately un-busy. I need to sit still, watch, notice, listen - then I might be some use as a person whose calling is to be attentive to God.

So, with all due respect to Archbishop Justin, who was, understandably, keen to point out that the Church is alive and well despite our buildings being closed, I have to disagree when he says, "The Church is emphatically not closed, it's probably busier than it's ever been." On the contrary, I'd see this as a time when all of us can find value in stillness and slowness. And the Church, rather than echoing our society's addiction to activity and busy-ness, has the opportunity to lead the way in re-discovering the benefit, and the delight, of doing nothing much other than breathe and be thankful. "Be still and know that I am God".

Time to practise what I post. See you next Sunday...

A Litany of thanks
Strange Easter, death put in its place

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