St Lubbock's Day


Today is one of the days when we should give thanks for St. Lubbock. Never heard of him? Well there's no point going to look in a dictionary of saints.
Sir John Lubbock was a banker and politician, which in modern eyes might doubly exclude him from sainthood. But in 1871 he introduced the Bank Holidays Act, providing for additional, so called “bank” holidays on top of the existing holidays of Christmas Day, Good Friday, November 1st and May 1st. Until then, holidays were invariably holy-days, linked to church feasts… Sir John was, unlike myself, a fanatical cricket enthusiast and wanted bank employees to be able to participate in and attend matches when they were scheduled. So, the new bank holidays included the dates when cricket games were traditionally played between the villages near where Sir John was raised. The people of England, whether or not they were cricket fans, were so thankful that they called the first Bank Holidays 'St. Lubbock's Days' for a while.
The last Monday of August wasn’t included among the original “St. Lubbock’s Days”, but it is a welcome addition, as we teeter on the brink of another few months of hectic activities. I often feel that the beginning of September is like getting onto one of those moving walkways in the airport… Where the pace picks up and there’s no stop until Boxing Day! So I hope to make the most of this last breather, and I hope many of you will be able to do the same.
But even when we do get back into the swing of things lets remember that the principle of taking a regular break from work goes back much further than Sir John Lubbock. Indeed back to the very beginning. According to Genesis, the requirement for rest is built into the rhythm of creation itself…
Too often when we look at the first chapter of Genesis and the story of the creation of the earth in six days, there are those who want to raise a ruckus over evolution and creationism… And when we look at the story of the seventh day and the commandment that cites it, we can end up falling out over what is and is not permissible on the Sabbath… and even what day we should observe the Sabbath on… But when he was faced faced with legalistic nitpickers Jesus reminded them that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath…
It was made for us so that we could not only rest from our work, but work from our rest.
And in a world that is increasingly hectic, increasingly lived 24/7, that Sabbath principle is even more important… Holidays and the restoration they offer should still be seen as holy… And days like today should be seen as a small compensation for all the Sabbaths we don’t take…

So thank God for sabbaths, holidays and St. Lubbock… 
(This was my Thought for the Day this morning but it has a chequered history. It started out as a broadcast for another radio station about 4 years ago, but that recording disappeared into the ether without ever being broadcast... I think there was a bit of confusion when the guy covering for the August Bank holiday didn't know he had a button to press to bring in the pre-recorded talk. I then revised it for a blog a couple of years ago, but took it down to put it up again in the form I delivered it live this morning.... If it actually did go out today you should be able to find it on the BBC iplayer 25 and 85 minutes in to Good Morning Ulster. If it isn't there I've probably fallen victim to another Bank Holiday mix-up)
Shalom

Comments

Really did speak too soon... Because this morning was a Bank holiday the programme only started at 7 am and so there was only one Thought for the Day at 7.55am... Mind you only discovered that when I was halfway in to the studio at 6.30am... Good way to start a bank holiday, unnecessarily getting up an hour early!

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