Fleeting Shadows: Sunday Evenings during Lent
During Lent we will joining with our friends from around the Parish on Sunday evenings. Our Team Rector, Rev Nick Clarke describes the Lent course …
“Sometimes the darkness in our lives is very threatening”. So writes Malcolm Duncan in his introduction to a study guide entitled, Fleeting Shadows.
The shadows are varied. This Lent Evening series, from Ash Wednesday through to Maundy Thursday, is designed to explore some of them; the anxieties of today, depression, the weariness of trying to keep many ‘plates spinning’, the guidance required to make the right choices, the apprehension of waiting for test results, the insecurities which swirl around in our head about the future. In our evening reflections we aim to allow two scriptures to shine light upon these shadows, namely Psalm 23 and the Gospel of John. Whilst there will be songs of worship to sing, we will also read scripture together and furthermore, bring our own life experiences to the light of fellowship, sharing and prayer. You are warmly invited. It is a time to be authentic, a time to minister to each other and a time for hope in Jesus Christ who transforms the darkness”
I hope you’ll be able to join with the Parish as we worship, learn and share together during Lent. Details of venues and times are available in church.
Pause for thought …
We are in the forty days of Lent. The number ‘forty’ always has a spiritual significance regarding preparation for the presence and life changing power of God.
On Mount Sinai, preparing to receive the Ten Commandments, ‘Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water.’ (Exodus 34:28)
Elijah ‘travelled for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb the mountain of God’ where the Lord came to him. (1 Kings 19:18)
Jesus fasted and prayed for ‘forty days and forty nights’ in the desert. He confronted
and defeated the devil and began His ministry that was to lead to the cross.
In the light of these things how seriously are we using our forty days?
In Philippians 3 Paul exhorts us ‘to live up to what we have already attained.
Having met and found Jesus as our Saviour and made that commitment to follow him how well have we done, what have we attained?
During Lent are we increasing our faith through learning and forgiveness so that at Easter we may be able to praise God for what he did for us on the cross?
‘What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees’
One final thought – March was the beginning of the Roman year, the start of spring and new life and also the time the armies of Rome prepared their armour for the battles that lay ahead. If we truly want to fight the good fight of faith the armour of God is set out for us in Ephesians 6: 10 – 18.
Perhaps we need to do some polishing up!
Some of you may remember that a few months ago I made a plea for items for Food Bank with the suggestion that each household could bring one thing each week (complete with British Sign Language illustration!) Hopefully this will help people to remember, as it will be a regular thing, and won’t be a burden.
This is a reminder of the ‘shopping list’ for Food Bank items, any one of these would be most welcome:
Milk (UHT or powder) Rice
Biscuits and snack bars Pasta sauce
Tinned or carton rice pudding/custard Empty egg boxes (no eggs please)
Breakfast cereal Coffee
Instant mashed potato
Also, if you have any strong shopping bags you don’t need they would be appreciated too.
Thank you so much to all who have contributed. If you have any questions about Food Bank please have a word with me.
Ladies’ Day at St. Aldhelm’s (part 1)
Cherry and Susie organised a wonderful day for the ladies of this parish. There was something for everyone and we all appreciated the fact that we could relax and enjoy a day of friendship and fellowship without the distractions of our everyday lives. Jo Soper and her team from Exeter Network Church ministered to us, giving us a truly enriching spiritual experience.
After giving ourselves up to worship in some beautiful and beautifully sung hymns, Jo introduced us to the idea of kenosis which is emptying oneself of one’s own will so that you can be totally receptive to God and His Divine Will. She also stressed that each one of us matters and we are all significant. Our story is part of The Great Story.
Rosanna then took us through her ‘Freedom Prayer Model’ which allows you to evict negative ideas and feelings from your life in order to replace them with the power of the Holy Spirit. I personally found this exercise extremely difficult but private prayer with Rosanna and Zara later in the day allayed some of my fears and gave me some answers to very vexatious questions.
We were then divided into two groups. One group first experienced the prayer stations which had been very thoughtfully put together by Susie. We were encouraged to “Be still and know that I am God;” write a prayer of thanks and hang it on the prayer tree; find restoration by meditation at the cross; have a breakthrough in our spiritual understanding and finally to look into a mirror and acknowledge our place in the universe as a special child of God.
Before we immersed ourselves in the prayer room, Tess, Gill, Val and I took part in a wonderful exercise concerning Biblical characters. More of that next month!
We ended the day as we started – with prayer and song. The whole event was extremely uplifting and a welcome oasis in our busy lives. If you didn’t manage to come this year; come next year. I can promise you, you will find it rewarding.