Rector’s Letter, February 21st

 

Dear Team

I have been thinking, and chatting to some people, about how Lent this year needs a more upbeat ethos. As I write this I must admit to that feeling a little shallow, but there we go.
So much of what we have experienced over the last year has forced us to dig deep, to deny ourselves, so much has turned to ashes and dust. It feels like we’ve had a year long Lent, and we’re still waiting for the dawn of resurrection day.

However, as in so much in our lives, our perceptions are key. There’s a saying that goes, ‘Perceptions are reality’. This is so true, which is why we need to be people of truth, seeking reality, not the ephemera of perceptions. Having said that, in the spiritual walk if we change our perception of something in our faith it can transform how we engage with that part of our faith. Yes, I know, I’m being a little obtuse, what does this mean for a Lenten observance in the midst of the enforced denial of Covid restrictions?

I think it comes down to what we perceive the point of our faith to be. If we think that living out the Christian faith is about losing out on things, if it’s about giving up stuff, if its about constriction and restriction, if its about curtailing fun and pleasurable behaviour, then we are going to see something like the self-denial of Lent as an essentially hard and restrictive practice.

On the other hand, if we perceive our faith to be about finding freedom and joy in our relationship with God, if we see that the closer we get to God the more we find fulfilment and purpose, if we perceive our faith to be about becoming increasingly who I am in my connection with God, then a very different conversation starts to happen in our souls.

Maybe this Lent should be more about finding ways to free our hearts to sing because of God in us. Maybe

there needs to be an emphasis on God’s beauty and intimacy and kindness this Lent.
What could our discipline be? Maybe its freeing ourselves to see God in unlikely and unusual places, maybe it’s consciously looking for God in little mundane things, maybe its simply resting in His presence, maybe its something very different.
It would be wonderful if you could share your Lent story as it unfolds on your parish or the Team Facebook page. I for one would love to see what God is up to in your life.

Rev Steve