The Minister writes

 

Dear All,

At the start of Lent, we read the words of John Chrysostom (AD 347-407): 

    

'Although we praise our common Lord for all kinds of reasons, we praise and glorify him above all for the cross.  Paul passes over everything else that Christ did for our advantage and consolation and dwells incessantly on the cross.  The proof of God’s love for us, he says, is that ‘Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.’  Then in the following sentence he gives us the highest ground for hope – ‘If, when we were alienated from God, we were reconciled to him by the death of his Son, how much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life!’ 

We often find that there is so much going on in our lives and in the life our Church.  This is wonderful but it does also mean that there are many things drawing on our time and energy.  Our values and priorities might become confused at times as we live our busy lives in a complex culture.  It may even feel like it is too easy to forget God, our Maker and Sustainer – and then comes the Season of Lent!   

Lent is the season of the year that seeks to transform this situation and woo us back to God, back to what really matters, back to what is most real.  It draws us away from any over absorption in ordinary life and calls us once more to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It calls us to find God as we move with Christ from death to life – now we want to address those things in our lives that hinder us from connecting with God.  And then we seek to journey once again into the joy that comes with a renewed, ‘reconciled to God’ life – the joy of the Lord!    

So in this movement from death to life, in this ‘renewal’ encounter with God, we might find ourselves in repentance, asking God to help us change and make us more the people he has called us to be.  We might pray as the psalmist did ‘create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.’  As we embrace transformation, as we give fresh attention to God in prayer and to others in love and action, God comes to us and graciously grants us the freshness, the newness of heart that we sense we need and have sought in trusting prayer.  This is good news - any sense of being disconnected from God then becomes historical as the fullness of life and renewed hope of which Jesus’ death and resurrection speaks to us of, becomes a reality in our lives.  This Lent, we might pray:

Almighty God,

your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. 

Breathe upon us with the power of your Spirit, 

that we may be raised to new life in Christ,

and serve you in holiness and righteousness all our days; 

through the same Jesus Christ, Amen. 

 

Grace and peace,

               :  Andrew's signature