In Focus Magazine

Thought for the Month – March 2019

I wonder if you remember how one of our youngest members aptly re-named Advent Sunday, 2018, as ‘Purple Sunday’ when she noticed the altar and lectern cloths had changed colour.

On 10th March we’ll observe another ‘Purple Sunday’ when we mark the first Sunday of Lent: Advent and Lent, both seasons of waiting and preparation, each offering its own opportunities for us to grow in our discipleship as we continue to think about how – picking up on what Sue wrote about in February’s IN Focus – we make prayer, witness and action a part of our everyday lives of faith.

Last year I bought a new study book for Lent and Advent; each used pictures as a focus for daily meditation and prayer. I began both seasons with good intentions, but on a couple of occasions I found myself having to catch up with readings where I hadn’t quite managed to keep up on a daily basis; no doubt I’ll be doing that again soon!

Pressing on was definitely worth it as I enjoyed the opportunity to think about different themes and familiar stories in a new way through the paintings and the short reflections that accompanied them.

As we approach Ash Wednesday have you thought about how you might try to deepen/nurture your faith during this year’s journey through Lent to Easter? Traditionally Lent is a time synonymous with self-denial and going without things, but giving up is not the only option we have – instead we might choose to take up or commit to something to help us prepare to encounter Christ again through the Easter story……

        

A few years ago a number of Christian people published a fantastic little booklet called ‘Love Life: Live Lent’ which contains 40 simple actions/tasks. The authors’ intentions are that as we practise generous thinking, living and acting by following the daily challenges and undertaking random acts of kindness, we may discover something new of the generosity of God.

If you’d like to be able to view Lent through a new lens, then perhaps this is for you – the booklets are available widely and certainly complement our diocesan focus on Everyday Faith.

Another way to observe Lent might be to join our Lent group on Sundays: 10th, 17th, 24th March and 7th and 14th April (no meeting Sunday 31st March). We’ll meet in the church hall for refreshments at 5pm before moving into a time of study, prayer and discussion, finishing by 6.30pm. Our theme will be Everyday Prayer and we will be exploring different ways to pray using scripture, silence, poetry and music.

We hope there will be something for everyone as we consider how every day provides fresh opportunities to meet God in prayer, witness to Christ’s love in our lives and follow His pattern of loving and serving others.

Whether we choose to give up something and/or commit to something new for Lent, I pray we will be able to take time, every day, through Lent to reflect on how we live out our response to God’s generous love, expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and if, like me, you have some days where things don’t quite go according to plan and you feel as though you haven’t quite lived up to your everyday calling, then I pray that you, also, will know God’s grace that enables us to begin again – every day, whatever the colour of the season.

Elizabeth York, Curate