We thought it would be challenging to reflect upon the influence summer has upon our family lives. I’m convinced that many of us have mood changes, usually for the better, when the sun begins to shine. Our spirits lift when we feel the sun. However when it comes to living and dealing with family issues - summer can be the most stressful time of all. Going on holiday as a family, or entertaining the children over the long break from school, is no easy task.
The thing is holidays are meant to be relaxing. The word ‘holiday’ in English comes from a time when certain days were set apart as ‘holy’. This meant that workers got the day off to go to church and reflect upon the noble virtues of the holy person they were commemorating. In reality they often turned out to be times of great socialising and the relaxation came at the end of the day when everyone was exhausted. Today when we talk about holidays most people think of ‘time out’ and an opportunity to ‘get away from it all’, and perhaps rethink priorities.
There are 4 key stories in our lectionary readings this month that hinge around the importance of taking time out and going on a journey. For Abraham he goes on a journey with his son to figure our their relationship. We have Abraham’s servant Eliezer going on a journey to find a wife for Isaac. Then there is the story of Jacob, who is forced to flee because of his deceitful activities towards his father and brother. Finally, we have a story that centres around Jacob’s return journey and how he becomes reconciled to his brother Esau.