There’s a children’s story book that was loved by one of the ladies that ran the Kid’s work in the Church in which I served my Curacy:
Jesus’ Day Off
by Nicholas Allan
It’s the story of the time when Jesus starts to feel weary, he finds the miraculous deeds he’s attempting aren’t working out how he planned and that he is suddenly craving a lie-in. The answer is 1st Century doctor tells him is to have a Day Off.
Now. I don’t commend the story for it’s theology or historical accuracy but it presents an interesting question – Did the Son of God ever have a holiday?
It’s not something covered in a major way by the sources we have, the gospel writers focussed on the more pertinent aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry, the things they felt were most important for the people of God to understand.
And yet there are clues in the New Testament that Jesus, like all people, needed time to recharge, both physically and spiritually.
In Luke Chapter 6 Jesus takes time alone to pray before choosing his twelve apostles from his disciples. Another time, after the feeding of the 5000 Jesus retires to a lonely mountainside in order to take time away, time praying and recuperating.
There is plenty of evidence that shows that Jesus too needed time away from the routine of the day-to-day (if anything Jesus did could be considered routine!). This should come as no surprise, we afterall acknowledge him to be both fully-human and fully-God. The humanity of Jesus would have needed to recharge in just the same way as we ourselves do.
Holidays are a vital part of our year – a time to get away, to recharge, relax and take time out-of-the-ordinary. Of course in times of financial hardship they are also harder to take, harder to justify. Yet we all need that break from normality they offer.
Many of us will be holidaying at home this year, but that in itself should not stop us taking the time we need for this important part of life. A break really can be as good as a change if we are intentional about it. Many of you will know that I am somewhat of a day off fundamentalist, I’ve learnt over the years that I am better at what I do if I get the weekly break of my day off, I am better at what I do if I take holiday each year as well.
Of course it’s not just about taking time out, its about being sensible with what we do for our holidays. I’ve joked in the past about the way the regular routines of being Church tend to cease each summer by saying “that God takes August off”. He, of course, does not, but I do wonder sometimes wonder if we sometimes are guilty of taking time off from God during the holidays.
Our challenge as a Church, no matter where our holiday time takes us is to remember to take God with us, to remember to give him the space to be part of our rest & relaxation. Taking time to read his word, time in prayer and quiet times as well as the opportunities a holiday affords us to let our hair down, to rest by a pool or beach or curled up with a book.
Whatever you are doing for rest and relaxation this summer have a blessed break and allow yourself to be refreshed and renewed!
from Parish Magazine August 2013