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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

7 August 2019: Jon Piper, Hope Church


My wife is a teacher and we have two sons in education, so my life is inextricably linked to the rhythm of the English academic year.

There’s the feeling, every September, of attempting to start a particularly stubborn, old car on a cold day. Until the engine hums into life, there’ll be a certain amount of groaning.
December is difficult. For teachers and church leaders, like me, it’s like entering a mine, knowing that none of us will see daylight until we’re covered in glitter and struggling with the flu in the final week of the year.

July is my birthday month, but the last struggle to get over the line into summer tends to dampen celebrations.

Now the summer holidays are here. My youngest son is attempting to create a working crossbow with a friend. My eldest son is either working for his summer job or spending time with friends (having successfully forgotten the wait for his GCSE results). My wife has rediscovered reading for pleasure and the fact that our house is a mess.

Although I’m guilty of moaning too often, when we encounter a difficult month, I’m actually really appreciative of this pattern through the year. I’m aware that the sudden switch in the daily rhythm allows me the opportunity to reflect and pray about my purpose and the way I’m living.

This year, as I spend time reflecting over the summer, I’m aware that our society, our zeitgeist and our politics show signs of needing some reflection time. Unfortunately, I’m also aware that there’s little inclination for reflection – prayerful or otherwise – in our national conversation.

So, as our politicians, our media and Twitter busy themselves in what used to be the summer recess, I’m committing myself to reflection and prayer on their behalf. God knows we need the break.


PACT Holiday Club continues, with a new format and location, on Fridays: 9th and 16th August
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