Rev'd Karen - March 2022
The Vicar’s Light Reflections
Light Reflections… “Let your light shine…” (Matthew 5.16)
As we move into March we also begin the time of Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday, and lasts for the six weeks before Easter. It is a time where we remember the 40 days and nights that Jesus spends in the wilderness in prayer and fasting and where he is tempted by the Devil; before he begins his public ministry.
The Collect for the First Sunday in Lent asks God for grace to “discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;” whereas, interestingly the Prayer Book version says “Give grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness and holiness.” I do feel that the Prayer Book version is perhaps closer to what we should be doing during Lent, restraining ourselves from indulgence. I find the word ‘discipline’ in the modern version a little unhelpful. It sounds like in disciplining ourselves we are using a form of ‘self-punishment’, although it more likely means that we are training ourselves, as an athlete trains for an event.
In this season of prayer and penitence, we may well ‘abstain’ or ‘discipline’ ourselves by fasting; of ‘giving up’ chocolate or alcohol, or whatever our ‘go to’ indulgence is. Laying aside those things which may get in the way of our relationship with God is a good thing to do; it helps us to re-focus on Christ and our spiritual life. In this way, many people also ‘pick -up’ something to do, to focus on a positive.
As you consider what your ‘fast’ should be, as you lay down that chocolate biscuit indulgence or need for cake, also consider what you may wish to ‘pick up’. This could perhaps be the Diocesan Lent Devotion Signs of Life to help us reflect on the Gospel of John. Or, join us via Zoom, for our United Benefice Lent Study Course Generosity, Gift and Grace as we think about giving generously of our time, talents and money in our response to the generosity of God. This will launch our Stewardship Programme. We will also be continuing the theme of growing in our discipleship in our new fortnightly Bible Study Drink from The Well as we look at the teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. I am also excited to announce that we now have a new Prayer Diary, linking into the key themes of the Diocesan Vision 2026; in March there will be a weekly prayer for Making Disciples, do join in praying for our United Benefice.
St Paul said; “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2). Maybe this Lenten Season is a time to do just that, my prayer is that we will be transformed in our discipleship and love of Jesus.
Rev’d Karen Christ Centered…Kingdom Focused