March 10

posted 5 Mar 2010, 09:23 by Richard Jones   [ updated 5 Mar 2010, 09:33 ]
The Vicar writes .....
WE ALL KNOW THAT LENT is a time for reconciliation, but all too often our good intentions fizzle out. In today’s fast moving world, we are faced with pressure all our lives.  In work there are goals to be met, targets to be attained. Our family commitments demand our attention, and our social lives take up an awful lot of space. 

We’re always looking for the quick fix solution to any problem.  It’s so easy to allow ourselves to be conned by our society’s insistence on a need for instant gratification.  And even if we suffer inner turmoil caused by the many unresolved issues in our lives, we still hope that an antidote will be found immediately and that a long term change of direction in our lives will not be required.

 We very rarely reflect on our basic, fundamental attitudes. We simply don’t have the time.

 There are a great many ways of distracting ourselves.  In fact there’s a whole industry providing a constant flow of distractions and entertainment, helping us to ignore those feelings within ourselves that cause us disquiet and dis-ease.

In this season of Lent, the liturgy of the church prompts us to take the hint and to spend some time trying to help the broken areas of our lives that we rarely get time to face head on.  Lent is a time of preparation.  A time to take stock of our lives as we await the new life of Easter.  It is a time for reconciliation between us earthly children and our loving heavenly parent.

But we would only be overwhelmed if we thought that we had to change everything about our daily lives.  The period of reflection that is Lent allows us to highlight areas in need of redemption and many of us make lists of our sins and then one by one, we pick them off, like leaves on a tree, and give them to God hoping that they will be gone forever.  Unfortunately for many of us, a new leaf soon grows back.

Our real area of concern should be much deeper.  Not in the leaves, but way down in our roots.  The attitudes that hold us back.  The areas of brokenness that we never share with anyone.  This is the root of the dis-ease in our hearts and Lent is an opportunity to be reconciled within ourselves at this deep level, and to hand it over to God. 

 The difficult part in preparing ourselves to be reconciled, both with God and with the community of the Church, is not in accepting that we are sinners  -  most of the time we find that all too easy.  The difficult part comes in accepting that we are forgiven, and that we’re once again made whole by the love of our Father.

 Lent is a time for us to drop our pursuit of the illusions that we often call reality, and to begin to bind up our broken relationships with God and with others.  Sadly the language of forgiveness isn’t heard too often in today’s world and although we may be able to forgive others, accepting forgiveness in our own lives is a much harder task.

In the letter to the Hebrews we’re told that “The word of God . . Cuts more incisively than any two edged sword, and can seek out the place where the soul is divided from the spirit”.  By spending some time in God’s company this Lent, we will become more aware of our fundamental attitudes in life and our reactions to others.  We’ll gradually find that we can open ourselves to the workings of the Spirit in our lives, and once again hear the gentle call of the Father asking us to come back to him.

 May God’s blessing be with you all

                                                          Paul

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