3 Aug 2023 • Articles
As I write this letter we have just received the news that June this year has been the hottest June since records began. We are constantly reminded that inflation is at its highest, that interest rates are still rising, that food prices are rising. In fact everything seems to be excessive. Today we are going to be doing something directly opposite to all the excesses of today’s life, we are going minimalist.
August is traditionally the month when all those that can afford the time or money take their holidays. The idea being that as they take their annual break they begin to re-create themselves. In this time of re-creation they re-build their lives, mentally and physically so they can carry on with their lives for another few months.
I have often remarked how the Christian year is all festivals and important events from Advent until Ascension and then seems to go quiet during ordinary time. Is God telling us this is a time when we should also be taking a spiritual rest so that we can re- create ourselves in our journey of faith? In that re-creation we also re-motivate ourselves re-discover that unending and excessive love that God has for us all.
It is in this ordinary time of the lectionary that we hear of Jesus calling his disciples out, training them and sending them out into the world to heal the sick and broken spirited. I feel that this is when Jesus lets his disciples know something of his mission here on earth. This mission is something they, and we in our turn, are going to partake in. are they prepared for this mission? Is there a way they can opt out? I have not discovered anything the bible where God or Jesus gives their followers an option to remain inactive. .
We are a pilgrim people always moving forward towards God’s kingdom. We are God’s children led by his son Jesus Christ to take the good news to all his people. Is this the time for us then to re-create ourselves on our journey of faith to also examine where our missionary calling from God is taking us, are we listening to what God is calling us? Are these few months of ordinary time the opening that God is providing for us to re-mould our lives into an outgoing and missionary time?
As you have probably guessed the minimalistic approach is the use of the two letter prefix re. The number of words these two letters can be put before which energizes the meaning of the words is very similar to the way the word of God energizes us. If there is one thing in this life and world today that needs to be remembered for its excess is the love of God for us all, wherever we are in our journeys of faith, life and work, God is always loving us and pushing us to excess in zeal for his word. How we take up this challenge is, I feel, a personal understanding of where we are with God.
As I close this letter I wish you all enjoy your time of re-creation and that it brings you home feeling re-freshed, re-motivated and re-ady (I know but it was too good to miss) to go out into the world and make disciples of all people knowing that God is with you every inch of the way.
All God’s blessings,
Rev Chris Brown, licenced minister with PTO for Uttoxeter Area of Parishes.