Team Rector's Letter March 2020

07466 858 975                                                     Leonard Stanley, GL10 3NP

MARCH 2020

rectorstroudwater@gmail.com                            The Rectory, Church Lane

 

BEAUTY OF LENT

 

 

One of the things which saddens me in the Church of England (Anglican church) is the wealth of deeply meaningful seasons and occasions we have which we have become pretty blasé about.

Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, Easter Day seem to have generally become things to give a nod to, rather than to deeply immerse ourselves in. They are there to make space for God to transform us with the combination of our humility and the Holy Spirit’s power.

 

I am marrying a lovely couple in a couple of weeks at All Saints, Selsley. They asked to get married there as the groom, at least, could see the church building from his house in Ebley. He had a Christian upbringing, but didn’t value these things very deeply, and she is a youngish Christian with very little or no exposure. They attended the Ash Wednesday service last year and had a profound experience of God’s love and grace in that service. In fact, the Ash Wednesday service and the imposition of ashes was the conduit God used to touch their lives and out of that some radical life choices have flowed. This story touches my heart so deeply. I love it when people have a profound experience of God.

 

Lent is a beautiful time in the life of the church because it has the potential to open our hearts to the beauty of the Lord. It becomes banal and annoying when the focus is all about what we are giving up, rather than who we are falling more deeply in love with as we shape our lives around Jesus. The season that lies ahead of us is all about Jesus, and everything we do as we observe this season needs to open our hearts more profoundly to Jesus. I want to encourage you to give up a religious, legalistic, rules focussed attitude to Lent and Easter this year. Don’t do nothing, but what you do, do it with the express intention to allow Jesus to have more of you. Break out of mindless tradition and invite Jesus more deeply into your life. Remember that the season which lies ahead of us isn’t one, primarily, to showcase great music or liturgy or fun events. It’s to remind us that Jesus loves us to death, death on a cross, and when we invite Him into our lives, we find a life truly worth living.

God bless as you enjoy the beauty of Lent.

Rev Steve Harrison

(Rector Stroudwater Team)