Millie my daughter, has recently re-organised the apps on my mobile phone (one of the advantages of having tech savvy teenagers as children!). However the downside is that I can more easily track the levels of sleep that I am currently achieving (or in my case, missing!). Light mornings have never been particularly good for me, as I find once I’m awake, I become restless and it’s hard to get back to sleep. Whilst thankfully this is not akin to St John Chrysostom’s “dark night of the soul”, the experience of restlessness certainly helps me appreciate the concept that St Augustine described when addressing God with the words: "our hearts are restless, until they can find their rest in you”.
Andy, our preacher last Sunday, used Augustine’s quote as we explored and reflected on Jesus offer to: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11.28). Rest, however was not the absence of activity, but respite, relief and support offered, whilst still carrying it out. Certainly I am acutely aware that in the lives of many, that level of ‘rest’ is highly desirable, and actually I would want to extend that need beyond individuals to us as a church community.
For that reason, it’s perhaps understandable that my current earworm comes from listening to Millie’s orchestra performing last Sunday evening. The final piece played was the stirring and yet moving work Finlandia written by Sibelius. Composed in the context of the country of Finland fearing potential oppression by its much bigger neighbour Russia, its anthem is the basis of the our hymn tune: “We rest on thee, our shield and our defender
As we as individuals, and as a community live out our calling , may we rest on and in the One, who promises to support us all the way.