If you’ve been reading this blog throughout my sabbatical you’ll know that on the first day I came to Holy Island to begin my sabbatical. I decided that I wanted to come back to Holy Island for a few days towards the end of sabbatical, to reflect on the sabbatical in the place I started. I’m staying in Robert and Jutta’s Cabin again, which is such good play to have as a base in the centre of the village.
It has been great to be here again, the island has been a lot busier in the mornings and early afternoons than in April but once the tide has come in during the late afternoon the island has been so quiet and peaceful. During this time it has been good to share in worship with different parts of the Christian community on the Island, at St Cuthbert’s, the Open Gate and St Mary’s Church.
I spent yesterday writing up the reading, reflecting, praying and thinking I have done during sabbatical about rules, ways, rhythm’s of life and what it might mean for the Methodist Church to adopt a Way of Life. I ended up writing nearly 7,500 words, which was a lot and much more than I thought I would write. Once I’ve edited it and checked it still makes sense I’ll share it here on the blog.
As my sabbatical draws to a close it has been so good to come back here, to remember this is where it all started and to be aware of what a gift it has been and to give thanks for how good it has been. When I was here in April I took the picture below and blogged about how the hay bails represented all the good things that God had in store for me/us and how we would unwrap them at the right time during sabbatical. Being back here has reminded me that I/we have unwrapped so many good things during this time all in the love and goodness of God.
At the same time I know that all the good things God has in store for me/us are not yet all unwrapped. Not least because my sabbatical still has another two and a half weeks to run. I also know that when I return to active ministry God has lots in store, I know that I will continue to unwrap many good things as I hear what God has been doing in Hexham whilst I’ve been away and as I walk together with those I serve into the next stage of the journey serving God.
One of the real joys of being on Holy Island again has been the evening sunset. As promised on Facebook, here are some of the photos I took last night along with the psalm that came to mind as I watched and took photos:
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;Psalm 19:1-4, New International Version
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.