This week will have been dominated for many families by the A level results – and the anxiety and then either relief or frustration / disappointment / anger.

For others, this would have been a week of holidays away somewhere, a family celebration or gathering, and the disappointment and frustration that it has not happened.

And for many, we are starting to plan for the autumn, whether new schools or college, questions about what will happen, or how we will adapt; and the parish is no exception.

We are concerned that we have not been able to run our Children’s Work as we would like, though we know the online resources are appreciated by many. We – dare we mention the word – need to think about Christmas and what will be possible, and before that Remembrance. We have to hold our Annual Meetings and manage our Finances; we need to plan but so much is provisional or only in pencil.

The idea of the Sabbath day, the seventh day of a week, is that it should be a bit different, a day when we can have a break from work, have time to worship, and have time to rest. Our 24/7 society has rather eroded the idea of a Sabbath Day and the current crisis has left people feeling even less sure what day of the week it is.

When what we plan can only be provisional, and when what is around us is uncertain, we would do well to try and put in place or keep in place the “different day”, the Sabbath day, to help us organise our time, and to recharge our batteries. Easy to say and much harder to do, but if we can keep a day special in the week and keep some time special in each day, time for God, we can feel more rooted, more stable, more anchored.

If we can’t get to church for a service, make a time and keep that time for the online service or for your own prayers. We may not know what will happen in the coming months but we can keep daily and weekly rhythms of quiet / prayer / reflection, and find sustenance and strength in doing so.

In our daily prayers, we have sought guidance and the ability to see God’s paths even in confusion and difficulty.

O let me see your footsteps and in them plant my own
My hope to follow duly is in your strength alone.

Rev’d Peter Reiss: 14th Aug 2020