Holiday, “a time when someone does not go to school or work, but is free to do what they want”. A time which can be traced back to the earliest written record in Jewish tradition to those days, in addition to the weekly Sabbath, that were dedicated to The Lord and on which no work was done. Developing from an occasional day off, through a whole week off, to the now statutory four weeks annual leave. It is a time, for some of us, to travel, to visit people and places and to see things that prompt thought and reflection.
I have seen medieval walls with original plaster and decoration, medieval stained glass and a medieval bible. I have seen Roman, Norman and Gothic architecture and some so modern that the paint has hardly had time to dry. I’ve seen memorials to great men, mostly men, of whom you will have heard. I’ve seen memorials to those who are famous because you’ve heard of what they did, for example Jane Austen and memorials erected by “many sorrowful friends” for people we’ve never heard of, but who must have done something well for their friends to have raised such a significant memorial.
In his letter to the Romans Paul asks, who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Who indeed, because we don’t do it that way is it wrong? If they have burned enough incense so that it makes the eyes water more than two hours after the conclusion of Wednesday morning communion, is it wrong? If they have sculpture that made me think more of “Gollum” or “Dobby” rather than Jesus Christ, is that wrong? Or am I forgetting, that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and these represent facets of God that I haven’t seen before and don’t recognise. Am I to shy or to set in my ignorance to ask one of the custodians how does this enhance your worship of God, for fear that it will show up the paucity of my worship?