Today was the team day off. But maybe that’s a misleading description (just as ‘day of preparation’ was inaccurate), seeing as some team members still attended the Hillvue breakfast club in the morning, and others taught about one-to-one discipleship for the combined home group event in the night.
But for most of us, today was a day off. A lovely day off. A most welcome and appreciated day off. The skies were blue and Tamworth was its classic, sunny self. We had the luxury of having coffee together in the morning (and creating milk avenues and highways), then a pub lunch, and an afternoon of barefoot bowls.
For some, bowls was a confirmation of athletic prowess, for others it was discovery of new incompetencies (with plenty of surprises from members of the team). But ultimately it was a carved out space of time to relate to one another as friends, to hear each other’s stories and strengthen ties amongst us as a team. Ties we had not fully had time to develop when we were whisked into mission together, bearing the weight of logistics, gospel responsibility, and disparate daily timetables.
This kind of rest helps us to finish mission well as a team. But it also makes us slow down in this different part of Australia and experience Tamworth for leisure. Which does something to how you think about the ministry you’re doing in it for the next few days.
This rest also reminds us of God’s purposes for us. That we are those who enter His rest by faith (Hebrews 4:3), and that as we labour this week we are striving to call people to ultimate, final, soul-quenching rest. We make the appeal to all who are weary and burdened, and we hold out Jesus’ offer of rest for their souls. This day off is a small picture of that goal, where missions won’t be necessary, and God’s people will gather in His name, in His good (new) creation, grateful for all He has done for us, and giving Him all the glory.