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Coming to a complete STOP

As a church after Christmas, we will be going into a time of abiding.  That means no Sunday services for the three Sundays after Christmas and simpler gatherings for the rest of January.  This is one of the ways at a church level that we are trying to live out the rhythm of life taught and modelled by Jesus - a rhythm between rest and work, abiding with Christ and fruitfulness (John 15).  In this season we lay down our 'work', there is no pressure to produce 'fruit' and we affirm that God loves us and we are His children even when we are doing nothing.

However, we don't just want this to be an organisational or corporate experience.  It is vital that as individuals we also enter into seasons of rest and abiding. 

One of the things that can be a trap is that we substitute slowing down with stopping.  We aren't quite as busy in life or ministry but we are still active, or we replace one sort of activity with another.  It is a bit like only half pruning back a grape vine or a rose bush - you don't get anywhere near the same benefit. 

So over the next month, think, pray, talk to your family and friends about finding times where you can come to a complete stop,  laying aside everything.  Now for most of us this isn't going to be weeks or months, but it may only be a day or so. 

But there is great benefit in coming to a complete stop!

David Wanstall, 13/12/2013