Vicar's Letter

Vicar’s Letter – March 2015

Lent – ‘God’s Springtime’

Dear Friends

After the recent cold snap, isn’t it lovely to see some sunshine and the emergence of spring? Flowers are beginning to push their way up from the wet soil of winter and the other day I smelt the first cut of freshly mown grass! The rhythm of the seasons reminds us of the need to order our lives so as to achieve a healthy balance of work, rest and play - time for personal recreation, family and friends.

The season of Lent, reminds us of the need to take the opportunity to step back and reflect on our life with God, allowing Him to undertake a spiritual spring clean in the run up to the great celebration of Easter. Someone once said:

‘The difference between a rut and a grave is only a matter of inches’.

Feasting and Fasting

Lent provides us with the opportunity to climb out of the rut of our lives and seek spiritual refreshment. How we do this is very much up to our routine of life and the demands put upon us. For some it is more about feasting: taking up something rather than the traditional giving up.

  • Take up a new hobby
  • Take up the reading of a spiritual book
  • Take up a new discipline of Bible reading and prayer
  • Take up a daily prayer walk

For others it might be to fast from aspects of our lives that enjoy a prominence which is unhealthy. So we might fast from:

·         TV or certain programmes/soaps

·         Alcohol or caffeine

·         Food, once a week or a meal a day

The point of the fast is always to draw closer to God by exercising self denial.                                     

There are also attitudes that we can fast from and attitudes we can feast upon:

Fast from judging others – Feast on Christ indwelling them

Fast from thoughts of illness – feast on the healing power of God

Fast from words that pollute – feast on phrases that purify

Fast from discontent – feast on gratitude

Fast from anger – feast on patience

Fast from pessimism – feast on optimism

Fast from worry – feast on God’s providence

Fast from complaining – feast on appreciation

Fast from negatives – feast on affirmatives

Fast from bitterness – feast on forgiveness

Fast from self concern – feast on compassion for others

Fast from discouragement – feast on hope

Fast from facts that depress – feast on truths that uplift

Fast from lethargy – feast on enthusiasm

Fast from thoughts that weaken – feast on promises that inspire

Fast from idle gossip – feast on purposeful silence

Fast from problems that overwhelm – feast on prayer that sustains

The Prayer Course -  Sunday evenings 6.30 – 7.30pm

We have already started this prayer course and will be continuing through each Sunday of Lent. Notes from the first session are inserted in the notice sheet. Do join us for the second session tonight and allow this season of Lent to revolutionise your prayer life. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by to re –engage and reconnect with God. This is His gift to us, bringing His Springtime of new life and renewal.

My prayer is that this season of Lent may be a significant time for each of us to seek God afresh and hunger for more of his presence.

With every blessing in Christ,                    

            Stephen