Our Rectors Ramblings!
Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ
Snow drops have been seen! The first flower of the year always gives me a little boost, an encouragement that spring is perhaps on its way. We still have the last bits of winter to see off, but there are signs of growth and a new season to look forward to.
For Christians we now look to Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of February and Ash Wednesday is the first day of March. Pancakes were a way of throwing into the pan all the last bits of rich food to consume before Lent began. After tea on Shrove Tuesday people would go to Church to be shriven of their sins, a special service of repentance ready for the rigours of the great Lenten fast. We still to this day have a Lenten fast, or a Lenten rule. Giving something up for Lent is perhaps not the biggest sacrifice given the easy excesses of today consumer lifestyle, but I am very taken with the idea of a Lenten rule.
It can take many forms, perhaps something as simple as saying grace before a meal, you would be surprised how many Christians don't give thanks to God before food. It could be extra devotions, setting a time aside each day for prayer and Bible study. Again researchers have found that many people who attend church don't do anything about their faith between Sunday services. I respectfully and earnestly beg you to take care of your soul this Lent. Could you imagine if each of us gave ourselves over to 15 minutes of prayer each day and read and thought upon a chapter of the Bible how different our lives would be?
Our Confirmation service will be conducted by Bishop Julian our Diocesan Bishop. This will, God willing, be on Tuesday 4th July at 6:30pm, followed by refreshments in the Church Hall. We havent seen Bishop Julian since Palm Sunday, so it will be a great joy to welcome our senior Bishop to his Church.
I think many people see Lent as a gloomy time of denial. I beg to differ, I think it is a time when we spring clean our souls and pay extra attention to our relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We should embrace this time of self-denial with joyful thanksgiving and even excitement. When the Church prays, Heaven gets very excited and wonderful things can happen. Many of the great movements of the Holy Spirit have begun with simple prayer. The early reformation, the Wesleyan Methodist revival, the Azuza St. revival, the Welsh revival of 1904 and the renewal in the Churches in Scotland all began with prayer and a sense of Gods true and mighty Holiness. If we mean business with God, let's pray for Him to come amongst us and show us something of Himself, His power, His perfection, His love, His salvation. I will if you will. To quote Mrs Doyle the house keeper of Father Ted fame, Ah, go on go on go on go on go on go on.
.God bless you and keep you.
Yours in Jesus.