Pray for a time of peace and rest

Bishop Robert and Pauline Paterson exchanged farewells with all of us this autumn before leaving the island for good on 6th November, and Robert Paterson officially retired as Bishop of Sodor and Man on 11th November.  Elected clergy and lay people from our churches are now actively involved with the Crown Nominations Commission in the process for appointing the next Bishop of Sodor and Man.

During the vacancy we have the thoughtful oversight of Rt Rev Richard Blackburn, Bishop of Warrington, across the water in the Diocese of Liverpool.  Here is an Advent message to us from Bishop Richard …..

 

Pray for a time of peace and rest

It is very important for our spiritual and mental wellbeing to take a break. This time before Christmas, Advent, is set aside in the church’s calendar to be one of those times of reflection. The bible talks a lot about waiting because waiting is an important gift to us all. There’s an old phrase that the best things come to those who wait; it reminds us that the time of preparation is important.

Today we don’t want to wait. We go about our days in a headlong rush of trying to get the next thing done. Many of us feel under pressure from others to join that rush. We don’t have to but we do it to one another. The need that businesses feel to open longer and to be more responsive because, if they’re not,  others will be. The desire to get the new gadget or toy before anyone else does. This rush sweeps us all up in its wake and positively damages those who are vulnerable and have not got the ability or resources to resist.

Pausing. Waiting. Slowing. Stopping. Praying. It’s a gift. A gift as precious as the gift of Jesus that Christmas morning when the world stopped and everything changed. So this Christmas I urge you to take time for yourself and those around you. It won’t cost the earth but it may make the world of difference.

I wish you all a happy Christmas and a peaceful, prayerful new year.

+Richard

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