Working from a Place of Rest

Tony Horsfall

The writer who is engaged with leading retreats, and giving spiritual and pastoral help to mission partners around the world, takes the theme of Jesus resting by the well in John chapter 4, as the starting point for a helpful reflection on rest and work for the Christian worker. He develops this theme with insight and care, bringing in his wide reading from the contemplative tradition which is a welcome balance to the often frenetic life style of evangelicals engaged in mission.

He emphasises the journey aspect of Jesus' life and our lives, showing how we can pace ourselves and allow God to use us whatever we are doing, whether it is "work " or "rest". The symbolism of the well, the living water and the theme of refreshment is helpfully explored, and the need to slow down and manage our time carefully. Jesus knew his own needs for rest and refreshment and cared for himself in order to do God's work.

The reflections at the end of each chapter help the reader to examine himself, and apply these truths to daily life and inner growth.

The fact that Jesus took a rest beside the well and asked the Samaritan woman for a drink, led on to a momentous encounter, not just for the woman whose life was changed and that of the whole village, but new ground was made for the gospel in a hostile environment. This is a key episode in the work of Jesus and can be for us if we can take this path of taking time to be quiet and allow God to organise our time.

This is a thoughtful and nourishing book, full of insight into the biblical narrative and into human nature. An excellent book for all engaged in Christian ministry.

Reviewed by Sue Ingleby

Sue Ingleby is a counsellor associated with Redcliffe College in Gloucester and offers personal and marriage counselling to mission partners.