The Vicar writes for April 2020

The Vicar writes………

I wrote last month about the season of Lent and the patience needed in waiting on God.  I could not have imagined only four weeks later that our lives would change so dramatically, and it will seem in a real sense that Lent will extend somewhat. Through our website audio-services, we will celebrate Holy Week and Easter (or least those who can get access to the internet) and I also expect the Church of England will broadcast on Radio 4. But the reality is, that despite our bishops encouraging us that Church is simply different now through streamed services, and the other means of communicating the gospel; the current closure of churches and life’s other restrictions will make Lent seem longer, harder and tougher than ever before.

It is in looking to Jesus when we are feeling down that we are helped into a sense of perspective, when we recall his time in the desert, for he ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished (Luke 4.2). And we can also call upon others in the Body of Christ to cheer us up. How heartening it is to receive a telephone call, just to hear a familiar voice.

I have been heartened too, to see so much good in community coming to the fore. We have seen some unfortunate aspects too, but the positive outstrips the negative in so many ways. Families, neighbours and friends all on hand to support everyone. And the offer of over 0.5million people to volunteer to support our National Health Service is truly staggering.

As a Church family there are challenges to face but our sacrifice of solitude pales into the background when we think about Jesus and what he did for us. In this time of challenge, we must stay in contact with one another and retain our dependence on God. Lent will seem longer, but Easter will come my friends when our church reopens.

In the meantime, let’s grasp this opportunity to deepen our devotional life in the silence that surrounds us.

Remember the words of St. Paul who wrote ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances’. (1 Thessalonians 5.16 – 18)

With my love and prayers, in Christ,

Yours, in Christ,

Paul

picture taken in the Calvary Garden at the Mirfield Community of the Resurrection