Vicars Monthly Letter

Vicar's Letter - March.

Dear Friends,

I write this letter as I look out across the garden watching the strong winds battering the trees from storm Ciara.  On days like this we understandably batten down the hatches and attempt to ride out the storm.  But how do we ride out the storms of life?  How do we find the strength through our faith not to batten down the hatches but to walk through the storm to the other side?  Like most things, we need to commit with our faith in various ways, so that our relationship with our Father continues to grow through His Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

We are now in Lent, but what does Lent mean to you?  Lent is traditionally associated with penitence, but in recent times many Christians also place a focus on what positive contribution we can give to make a difference. The thought being that what has been given up in sacrifice can be re-directed for the good of others, and in doing so we help others to make a fresh start in building their lives, or simply to survive.  So, what will you do this Lent for those in need?

At a personal level though, Lent is a time of the year to take stock and a chance for each one of us to re-assess what God is doing with our lives and how we might grow in faith and love. Perhaps you may feel inspired to read a particular book, either alone or alongside a friend to share thoughts with. There is also a call to deepen our prayer life by setting aside time, either personally or in a corporate setting.  Why not attend the office of Morning Prayer through Lent, the Office is said in our churches alternate weeks Monday to Thursday every week.  On Wednesday and Thursday mornings we now have a mid-week Eucharist’s with the anointing of the Holy Oil of Healing.  The Holy Oil of Healing not only gives healing to those who may be physically ill, it also heals spiritually for those who may feel they cannot walk through the storm.  Our Lenten course titled ‘Finding A Voice’, based on the film ‘The King’s Speech’ started by watching the film on the 25th February and we will then meet weekly throughout Lent for guided discussions.  For details on all of these please keep checking your weekly notice sheets.   God speaks to us through many ways, through our actions and through the stillness.  Often when we least expect it, maybe this Lent by attending something or doing something you haven’t done before, you may glimpse God walking with you through your Lenten journey. 

It is also through praying and hearing the scriptures that the Holy Spirit can speak to us, through the written word.  In the context of prayer and worship we may approach well known bible passages and hear things differently than on previous occasions. Texts that have spoken in the past in specific circumstances may seem less pertinent only to be overtaken by new insights from other parts of a passage. On a journey of faith whilst one must always look ahead it is important not to forget the past and to remember the blessings we have received. A verse that really spoke to me this week was from the apocryphal text of Ecclesiasticus. ‘Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed’? (Ecclesiasticus 2.10)  That is a good question for all of us to ponder over this Lent.

So, let this Lent be a time to grow ever nearer to God so that we feel His love, to carry us through the storms of life.

Your friend and Priest.

Kevin

 


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