Weekly Blog - Leeds Sanctuary - Listening to God.
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Posted on: 8th March 2022

Our theme at Leeds Sanctuary for the period of Lent is “weariness”; our aim being to acknowledge the effects of living with the ever-changing pandemic, which have left many people feeling stretched thin.

We are drawn to the story of the Israelites in the wilderness; moving from the collective trauma of slavery and towards a new way of life which they could not envision yet. In Exodus 18, Moses finds himself surrounded by people “from morning until evening” (v13). His father-in-law, Jethro, asks about this and Moses explains that

“the people come to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.” (vv15-16).

Jethro replies,

“…What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone… you should represent the people before God.” (vv17-19)

In reading this passage, I appreciate the reminder that as Christian leaders in our churches, homes, businesses and other organisations, we must be prepared to talk to and listen to God for our own sakes as much as those we serve. Our fallen-Creation bodies not only limit our stamina, but also sometimes drive our responses; we are constantly learning about and adapting to stressors, and it is all too easy to find ourselves having acted hastily when we never intended to.

Understanding this, Jesus said “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28). In His goodness, He is constantly inviting us to share the work with him.

Like many others, we expect there will be more work to do over these coming months and years to keep supporting people both in our City and further afield. Our mission at Leeds Sanctuary is to build a network of communities which support activism, wellbeing and discipleship, acknowledging the value of sharing our passions and goals, and the power of community in keeping weariness at bay.

As we reflect on the last two years, what could you have built in to your day or week that would have helped you feel less weary? Who can support you in your activism, and hold you to account with your own wellbeing?

By Emily Smith and Anna Bland

Leeds Sanctuary

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