Rest in the Lord

St. Michael’s Vicarage, Alnwick
November 2021

Dear People of Alnwick,

My lips curled up into a gentle smile last Sunday morning as the organ played before the service and I heard that lovely melody from Mendelssohn ‘s oratorio ‘Elijah’:
‘O rest in the Lord’.

Was it, I wondered, a ‘nod’ to the fact that I had announced my retirement the previous week!

The words come from Psalm 37 which, in the Book of Common Prayer version, read as follows:
“Delight thou in the Lord and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire. Commit thy way unto the Lord and put thy trust in him and he shall bring it to pass.”

Those words have meant a great deal to me all through my ministry as I vividly remember reciting them at Evening Prayer in Cuddesdon Parish Church on my very first day of training. They seemed significant then — just as they do now — and indeed have in the years between.

Whether we ‘rest’ in the Lord or ‘delight’ in the Lord (and I understand, more and more, that we can do both) surely it is the calling of each and every one of us.

God’s promises, made perfect as they are in the sending his Son, involve trust and commitment — but the reward is the fulfilment of our heart’s desire.

So, it seems to me, that whatever stage we might be at in our journey of faith resting and delighting in the Lord are thoroughly worthwhile pursuits!

Jane’s greatest concern for me as I approach retirement in that I have no hobbies. She wonders what on earth I will do to occupy my time when I lay down my current responsibilities.

A few things come to mind. I would be fascinated to trace my family tree; I might join a choir; time to have some gentle but regular exercise…. On the other hand, completely unexpected areas of interest might arise.

So many of those who are already retired tell me that they can’t understand how they found the time to go to work!

And so, although there are still over two months to go before the next adventure begins, whatever my retirement might have in store, it is my hope that I may learn more and more how to ‘rest’ and ‘delight’ in the Lord. And I hope that you will too.

With every blessing,


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