Vicar's letter March 2019
As I’m writing this it is unseasonably warm, and I’m enjoying the sunshine outside. According to Radio 4 the seasons are less defined this year, with spring flowers well on their way before time.
In the church year we enter the season of Lent this month, as we, with Jesus, turn our face towards the Passion and the Cross to come.
Traditionally, Lent is a penitential time, when we reflect upon our lives, and lay our sin and brokenness, in repentance before God as we remember the Wilderness wanderings of our Lord, and the ultimate sacrifice made once for all of us on that coming Cross. A traditional time for fasting or abstinence, Lent is a time that many Christians observe by giving something up. But what should we give up? Chocolate? Alcohol? Social media? TV? Perhaps. Yet somehow, I feel that whilst self discipline is indeed admirable, the lack of chocolate in itself wont further the Kingdom of God in our lives and town.
I like St Paul’s idea more:
‘ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.’ Ephesians 4:31
Imagine, if we fasted from anger. From bitterness. From thinking and speaking badly about others. Imagine if we fasted from holding grudges. From hurtful words or actions. Imagine if, instead of these things, we filled each other instead with these further words from Paul to the Ephesians:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
May our Lenten fasts reflect the love and forgiveness of God in our lives.
Your Friend and Associate Vicar,
Reverend Sharon ☺