The Vicar writes for March 2020

The Vicar writes………

Lent is here. A season that ought to be a time for deeper reflection, considering where we are at in our faith journey, a time of patient prayerful waiting and even greater sobriety. All this tradition is based on what Jesus did after his baptism when he was driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness prior to his public ministry. The reality is that for some Christians, life carries on pretty much the same and this is not helped by our circumstances living, generally speaking, in a relatively prosperous town in a first-world country.

Many people speak about giving up something for Lent; chocolate, red meat, alcohol and so on, but are these things motivated by a desire to love and serve the Lord or a consideration of our own health and well-being? There has been a greater emphasis in recent years for Christians to consider, what we can do in Lent, in order that our faith may grow, and to prepare ourselves spiritually to come closer to Jesus in Lent, the turmoil and sadness of Holy Week and finally the joy of Easter.

To truly appreciate Easter, we must go through the season of Lent and Holy Week and be persistent, patient and have a spirit of waiting in our prayers and devotions. I particularly like that text in Isaiah which speaks of the benefits of waiting on God. ‘But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint’ (Isaiah 40.31).

Earlier in February I was amazed to see a photograph of two mice squabbling over some food which won for Sam Rowley the award of ‘the LUMIX Wildlife Photographer of the Year’. His fascination was such that he had spent a week in a London Underground Tube Station at night patiently waiting, lay down on his belly, to photograph these subterranean rodents from a perfect low-angle view. It seems patience and waiting brought the utmost reward, as brief as it was, for Sam Rowley in his passion for wildlife.

Do we have the same passion for Christ and the Holy Spirit? If we too have that same patience the Divine Source of all our lives can come to us in an unexpected way. It may only be a few moments of insight or comfort but enough to give us that faith, hope and trust in what we know and believe, in a world that can deflect us from those convictions. That is what energised Jesus and spoke to him in the aridity of the wilderness and prepared him for his ministry and all that would entail.

May you all have a blessed Lent, however you choose to spend this time in seeking God.

Yours, in Christ,

Paul