Action Zones 

From Rev Helen Budd July 2018

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life


HELEN BUDDRev Helen Budd
Assistant Curate, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry

This letter will arrive in Yarmouth long before I do, and writing it is a welcome distraction from the long list of things to do, and the piles of empty boxes waiting to be filled. Moving house is up there as one of life’s most stressful activities. As you bid fond farewells and head off on a new adventure, you suddenly realise just how much stuff you have accumulated on the way. It's easy to get attached to things, as they remind us of people we love and places we have been. We also now accumulate digital baggage – photographs, emails, and Facebook posts all jostle for our attention
When Jesus sent the disciples off, he told them to “take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.” And to “wear sandals but not an extra shirt”.  I’m afraid I don’t travel quite so lightly. Some of you will be going off on holiday, and working out what will fit in the suitcase. Moving house means packing everything up, going on holiday means packing wisely. 'Sandals but not an extra shirt' sounds like good advice to avoid going over the luggage weight limit! The disciples needed to travel light so that they weren't distracted from the task at hand, which was telling those they met about Jesus
I’ve heard the long church season of ‘Ordinary Time’, which stretches out across the summer and beyond, described as ‘the Great, Green, Growing Time’. It’s a time to notice and celebrate the wonder of the ordinary. A time to take a step back and thank God for the gifts we have been given. I don’t mean the boxes of knick-knacks and books, or the suitcase stuffed with a capsule summer wardrobe, but the people and places we meet along the way. Don't let the 'stuff' we carry with us get in the way. We don't need to live quite as basically as the disciples did. But by taking time to experience that wonder, even just for a moment, we can open our eyes to see what God is doing in our world, and see how we can join in


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