A Song of the Wilderness, with words from Isaiah 35, will be used in the coming days and weeks as we move into Advent, and will be part of my prayer as I spend three days at the end of this week on retreat, staying in a hermitage in the grounds of a religious community. It will be my time of ‘going into the desert’ to be with God. I delight in solitude and silence to pray, reflect and dwell in scripture, and I am expectant for God to water those places within me which have become parched.
Sabbatical has been a blessing: the grace of living at a different pace; the grace of time to connect with friends and family; the grace of having more time to reflect and read; the grace of rest and renewal of faith and calling. I am deeply grateful for the gift of this time and want to express my thanks to you, to Bishop Rachel and colleagues on the Bishops’ Staff Team and all who have made it possible.
Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength … (Isaiah 30:15)
I have found myself returning often to these words from the prophet Isaiah over the last few years as a reminder in busy, sometimes anxious, sometimes challenging times that it is in God we are to place our trust and from God our hope and our confidence for all that will be.
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