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A Message from Our Vicar – February 2018

        ‘Working as Christ’s presence within the world’

Revd Lynn Boyle

Revd Lynn Boyle

Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse relieve, because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come.’

We begin February with Candlemas and within days we find ourselves at our Ash Wednesday Service and Lent. Each year we pause to reflect upon how we will spend the weeks of preparation leading us to Holy Week and Easter. Traditionally it is a time for self-denial and self-examination, but it is also a great opportunity for us to really reflect upon the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Who was he? What did He come to teach us? Why did He die for us?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God ~ fully human and yet fully divine, was subject, just as we are to temptation and experienced the vast array of human emotions; He knew joy and happiness and laughter and the love of family and friends; He also knew anger, frustration and hurt. He knew fear, anguish and loneliness, He knew humiliation and mockery. He knew what it was to feel totally alone, and He knew how it felt to be robbed of all dignity. And in Gethsemene and on the cross, He knew desperation. He experienced life in all its dimensions because Jesus Christ came to share fully in our humanity and it is because of this we can be assured that whatever we have to go through in life, however difficult or daunting it might seem, He has already been there, and He will be there alongside us, walking with us and when we need it, holding on to us tightly.

As we move through Lent we are drawn closer to the foot of the cross where we will witness the very worst the world has to offer ~ hatred, pride, fear, jealousy, greed, cowardice and envy; but where we are also brought face to face with the overwhelming love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of our suffering Lord. The love, grace and mercy of our God on the cross still has the power to defeat all the evil of this temporal existence. We only have to trust in it.

And so, as we move through Lent and we try to give up the little luxuries and avoid temptation let us also be realistic. In accepting that we are merely human. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t accept responsibility for our weaknesses, our mistakes and our failures. It means we should accept them, and having accepted them we should bring them to the foot of the cross in real penitence and faith, asking for God’s forgiveness; forgiveness for times when we have doubted Him, forgiveness when pride has obstructed our judgement, forgiveness for the times when we have failed to be as caring and compassionate as Jesus taught us to be, forgiveness for the times we have failed to trust in Him, forgiveness for the times we have just really got our priorities in life all wrong.

Let each of us use this Lenten period to reflect upon Jesus and upon our discipleship as we prepare to stand before Him, just as we are, at the foot of the cross.

Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes 7.30pm 14th February

God Bless,

Lynn 

 

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