Lent is already upon us, wrenching our vision from the birth of the Christ-child to the crucified and risen Christ. In between we have journeyed through the season of Epiphany, seeing Jesus revealed as God’s response not only to the needs of Israel, but to the needs of the world as a whole.
In his recent Ad Clerum (“To the Clergy”) letter Bishop Jo has enjoined us to focus on the three pillars of our Christian Faith: Scripture, Prayer and Worship. We saw yesterday (1st Sunday in Lent) how Jesus and the Devil interacted around the Scriptures, and how Jesus’ knowledge of Scripture and his understanding of God’s purposes helped him deal with the Devil’s attempt to mislead him. Lent calls us to prayer, along with fasting and alms-giving, and our more personal time alone with God comes under scrutiny. Worship is less about “me” and more about “us”, and particularly about joining together in fellowship to worship God, whether formally in Church or less formally with family and friends: “when you eat this bread and drink this cup” can apply equally to our more formal Eucharist services and to everyday meals shared in our homes. Where are you in your own journey with Scripture? Where are you in your journey of prayer and worship?
The Diocesan Lenten focus is on our Diocesan Theme “Equipping and Strengthening Families: Turning Houses into Homes”. Our Lent course echoes on this, reflecting initially on the challenges of nuclear family, and expanding to remind us that we are part of God’s family (the Church) and a wider community and world family of people created in God’s image. A copy of the course material can be found on http://lifeadventurer.blogspot.com or can be requested from the office.
Just a reminder that my theme for this year for us is “BE EARLY!” It is my earnest plea that this is something we all “take on” for Lent this year, and get into a new habit. I am aware of people making an effort, and that is much appreciated. This last Sunday I was aware of a large-ish crowd joining the procession into the 9am Service!
In recent weeks the Children and Teen Church have reached close on 90 young people attending. We are in DESPERATE need for people to help with teaching as we need to create more groups. If you have some teaching experience or are just keen to work with young people, please speak to our Churchwarden, Bruce Harvey, or to myself – this really is urgent and important!
A Lenten Commitment
Choose this day whom you will serve; WE WILL CHOOSE THE LIVING GOD
The road is narrow that leads to life; WE WILL WALK THE WAY OF CHRIST
Faith is not our holding on; FAITH IS LETTING GO
We offer more than words, O God; WE OFFER YOU OUR LIVES.
(from Lent & Easter Readings from IONA, pg 18)