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Moreton Hall Letter - March 2020

March is upon us and we are already well in to Lent.  It started on 26th February, Ash Wednesday. The next big dates in your diary should be 22nd March, Mothering Sunday, which in itself is not that far before Palm Sunday on 5th April, and Easter Day on the 12th. 
Mothering Sunday has become a day on which we rightly remember our mothers. They are usually rewarded by being taken out to lunch and given lots of flowers and chocolates which they richly deserve.  However, Mothering Sunday is not about mothers.  It was originally designed to encourage people to return to their Mother Church, which usually was the church in which they were baptised.  Which church were you baptised in?  Do you know?  Assuming that happened when you were a child, you might not understand why it was done to you. 
Baptism is about being joined to Jesus and also joining the body of believers here on Earth who worship and serve Him.  Mothering Sunday was a chance to reunite with the people who first accepted you into the life of Christ. 
In Lent, we think about our journey of faith together.  This year the Church of England is focussing on the environment.  It has produced a document called ‘Live Lent Caring for God’s Creation, A 40 Day Challenge’.  It is not too late to get involved.  Keep in mind that it is a journey that culminating in the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, Easter Day. 
Jesus takes all the sin on His shoulders, dies on a cross and then rises again so we can be set free. Delivered from all that ruins us and makes us bad, changed completely from now on and at life’s end we get to enjoy a place in heaven.  For some of you this is a journey you have never undertaken and the idea that Christ might have some use to you is a totally alien idea.  Many more of you do know something about faith and perhaps this year would be a good time to think again and start returning for the next few Sundays. 
Just recently somebody cleaned one of the paths round the church.  It now gleams brightly and shows us how dirty the other paths have become.  For many years we thought the paths looked ok, but now that one is clean we can see what a difference has been made.  Lent can do the same thing for you.  We all think we are pretty well ok. Only when we turn and look at Jesus and begin to follow His way do we begin to realise how much we need to put right.  The good news is that it can be put right; relationships can be restored, forgiveness and a sense of freedom can replace our guilt and shame.  Most of all, the risen presence of Jesus Christ is in our lives now rather than just a vague memory or a hope for the future. 
Why not take a chance?  Join us for any of the Sundays up to and including Easter. Come and say a prayer, to give thanks for your mother and for all that is good in your life and join others as we celebrate that day together. 
Hoping that you can use Lent to help you to get closer to Jesus and to one another, 
With every good wish,

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Ford
Revd. Canon Jonathan Ford.
Minister Christ Church Moreton Hall

Jonathan Ford, 01/01/2019