Amma Sue - March 2015

posted 11 Apr 2015, 08:22 by Richard Jones   [ updated 11 Apr 2015, 08:23 ]

Dear Friends

 By the time you read this we shall be well into Lent, which means plenty of time to have decided what we plan to “give up”; and of course find that we haven’t managed to do any of the Lenten things we promised ourselves we would do this year! Don’t despair and just forget all about it though. It’s not the length of time that matters  - or even what you do – Lent is about deepening our relationship with God. And Lenten disciplines are meant to be an opportunity for refreshing and replenishing our discipleship. A character in one of my favourite books describe Lent as “a spiritual spring cleaning” and I find myself saying “hear, hear!” to that.

 Just recently I came across a book which looked at the clutter that our daily lives get into as we seem to fill our homes, offices, garages,rooms, cupboards, with more and more things. Whether it’s the item that has been hanging around “just in case” we find a use for it, or that one thing that you “simply must have” if your wardrobe, car, tool box etc. is going to be complete. Little bit by little we find ourselves surrounded by THINGS, useful and useless. The response of the author was to spend her Lent giving one thing away every day! She found it both a liberating experience and also a deeply spiritual one as she spent part of each day consciously asking herself the question “what are my priorities in life?” And, “where do I put God when it comes to my priorities?”

 Originally, of course, Lent was the time of preparation for new Christians before their baptism on Easter Day. It was a time for them to learn more about their faith in God and just what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; and what the implications of that would be for the rest of their earthly life and beyond. This time of preparation was a truly life changing time as it brought them face to face with where God was in their lives, and what God wanted for their lives. It’s no bad thing to take a leaf out of their book – not just at Lent but periodically throughout the year, for just as with our material possessions, our faith lives too can get very cluttered, ironically even pushing God out of first place!

 So, if you started Lent with good intentions and find that you haven’t kept them up – don’t worry just begin again. Or even, if you didn’t get beyond the point of even thinking about a Lenten discipline, that’s OK you can start now. At the very least let us all take the time at some point during these forty days to seriously as ourselves the question “What place does God hold in my life?” “What clutter displaces God from first place and what can I do about getting rid of it?”

 So have a blessed Lent and may you experience the great joy of the Resurrection Life on Easter Day.

 With every blessing          Amma Sue