Newsletter for Moreton Hall
We are now approaching the season of Lent. On Wednesday 6th we will have our usual 7:30 pm evening communion with the signing of the ashes.
At this time we think of the fact that Jesus Christ set His face towards Jerusalem. Up until then Jesus had had a fantastic ministry for three years. He had spoken to thousands of people and helped many hundreds in their faith journey. He was popular with the people but he was also making some very powerful and important enemies.
Jerusalem was a place where the prophets had consistently been rejected, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Jesus’s own powerbase (if you could call it that) was Galilee. He very rarely went to the south of the country and when He did He would often receive a hostile reception. In fact, He was more popular in Samaria and the Decapolis than He was in the south.
Nonetheless, He set His face to go to Jerusalem to conquer that city which He nearly did. However, He came as a new sort of conqueror; one who rode on a donkey, not on a horse with an army. He came with a message of love, not demands with threats of violence. He performed great miracles and had people hanging on His every word. Then He was cruelly betrayed and horribly treated. Nonetheless, He was more concerned to fulfil God’s purposes for His life and for the world.
Christians give things up in Lent and often fast, as a way of having more time to pray and be aware of Jesus speaking to them. By going without, strangely it draws us closer to Him. For Jesus went without everything for us, even His dignity and ultimately His life. It is also a time maybe, for you to face up to some ugly situation in your life and try to sort it out once and for all.
In recent years Lent has not been marked as a season where you give things up but as one where you try to do a good deed or act of kindness each day. This has brought Lent to a new generation as a positive and life affirming activity. Why not try it for yourself, go to the Christian Aid website for more information: www.christianaid.org.uk.
Lent, therefore, is a time for us to re-orientate ourselves and think about what God’s purpose is for our life and resolutely to set ourselves to do it. January may well have been a disaster for the New Year resolutions we made, but March can be a fresh start when we pick up the burden again. We have a second chance to re-order our lives in such a way that we achieve God’s purposes, not only for ourselves, but for our families and our community.
May this Lent be a time when you pause to think, reflect and, above all, act as Jesus did. I pray that whatever it is you have to do you do it with the same compassion, courage and love that He did. For if you do He will help and bless you in every way.
With every good wish,
Revd. Canon Jonathan Ford.
Minister Christ Church Moreton Hall