Weekly Update – 3rd September
Rest, Refresh, Renew
Have you heard those words before? Can you remember where?
They are the words that Oasis in the Afternoon were inspired by. The aim of the service was to allow people who were unable to make it to church on a busy Sunday morning, but who would like to engage with God, a chance to come together to stop, reflect and worship, and then to go out into the week feeling refreshed and ‘topped up’.
Very ‘user friendly’, with a chance for a cup of tea and catch up (Rest) and activities for the children, the service is always relevant and thought provoking, with prayer and a wind-up Amen (and often an action song to finish!)
I’ve been an attendee from the start, my children have grown up with the service and are now all adults; my life pattern has changed, I can make it to Sunday mornings more easily; and yet I still come back to Oasis.
Because it is exactly that. It is an Oasis in each month of busy church life, it is an Oasis in each month of my busy life.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a quiet Oasis or a particularly ‘easy’ way to church; Fiona poses questions which get you thinking and searching, but children have a way of cutting through the unimportance of the baggage of life that adults carry with them and see the word of God in such clarity, it’s Refreshing.
The Bible has many verses that talk about the importance of rest. How rest is essential for spiritual growth and important for physical and mental health. Rest is a gift from God, and it is something that we should take seriously.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2-3)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
If we can rest in God, through Prayer, then we find ourselves refreshed and renewed.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
I’m working this weekend so am unable to attend any church service, but I will be putting aside a few moments to find my own Oasis, my own chance to Rest, Refresh and Renew.
Calm me, O Lord, as you stilled the storm.
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease.
Enfold me, Lord, in your peace.