A message from Father Andrew
“It’s more fun than your vicar wants you to have.” My ears pricked up when I heard these words over the radio. “Oh,” I thought, “Wonder what this is about?” Underlying the phrase is a message about vicars which is regrettable.
“It’s more fun than your vicar wants you to have” seems to say vicars are kill-joys, who don’t want people to have fun. It says vicars are boring, drab people with sombre faces and perpetual frowns. But more than that it presents a kind of caricature of the Christian faith. This line endorses the view that the Christian life is joyless, dreary, negative, and boring. Christians are boring people. They don’t know how to have fun. That’s the message.
But that is a false caricature. Where do we find in the Bible that fun and recreation are forbidden? What we do learn from scripture is that everything we do (our work, our play, our recreation) should be done as if for God. And the God of the Sabbath has commanded his people to set aside time for rest and prayer and recreation. Our health (physical, mental, spiritual) can be compromised if we do not obey that command. God knows what is good for us.
Our word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day”, because the holy days as defined by the church were the days when people had time away from la-bour to come to church and rest.
I hope you will have the opportunity to take some holidays this summer, and that these will be for you holy days, when you can have some fun, find some restoration, and draw closer to God, friends and / or family, and to yourself.