For many years, I've felt the stopping of regular activities that is January in Australia. Due to current life circumstances, I'm not feeling it strongly this year, though have been aware of it as I've gone to church services that are much more skeleton attendance and because of that a different style ... and as I've had to go without my standard smoothie on public holidays when I was visiting my dad in hospital. But, while I've noticed it, I haven't been impacted by it strongly.
However, this morning I spoke with a member of our church community and we spoke about how she's always thankful when this time of year comes to an end and when regular activities are back on. Knowing a little about her life, I suspect that the rhythms of normal life, church and other activities, keep her connected in a way that doesn't happen without regular activities happening.
The conversation got me thinking about the perspective of having a period in church life of rest and abiding and using the summer months when so much else stops anyway for that. So much usefulness in the concept - but how do you do it and help people actually abide? How do you help people stay connected - with God, each other and themselves? How does it not become just about certain things not being on but truly a season of rest and abiding? And do we help people for whom the natural rhythms of the day-to-day are a key part of their abiding?
Just some pondering in the midst of this summer season in Australia, when so much stops ... and many of us are on holidays ... or, in the case of the organisation that I work for, running ministry programs around the state.