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take time – andrew butcher


Preaching is often about timing.

The length of the sermon. The right word for the right season. The time in the liturgical calendar. The time to pray. The time to spend preparing.

The time to put down our notes and let the Holy Spirit work, bless and minister to us and to our listeners.

This year, for me at least, it is also about time out.

For the first time in several years, from this point on, and for the rest of this calendar year, I am not going to preach another sermon.

I am having a sabbatical.

I am taking a chance to recharge, renew and restore. I am clearing the decks so that the only things on my deck are two chairs and a table. The chair for me and my Lord, the table for us to put down the bread and the wine we eat as we meet together.

I am going to read many books, pray many prayers, go for many long walks.

I am going to sleep more, eat better, and take good care of myself and let others take care of me too.

I am going to go from top gear to first gear and enjoy life in the slow lane.

I am not going to find this easy. But I am finding it necessary.

And, possibly, hopefully, prayerfully, when I get back behind the pulpit in 2016 I will be preaching a sermon that comes from fertile ground from this fallow season.

The hymn-writer Longstaff says it well:

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

One Comment

  1. Tim Bulkeley says:

    How is the sabbatical going?

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