Thought for the Month (March 2007)
By the time you read this, Lent will be upon us. Lent, of course, is the period of 40 days leading up to Good Friday and Easter and has traditionally been a time of preparation. It is a time of giving up things, like chocolate or alcohol, and it is a time when we are encouraged to meet together on Lent courses or undertake daily readings. This year Tunbridge Wells URC and Rusthall URC are following a theme through Lent called 'Journey with Jesus'.
But whatever you are preparing to do in Lent, there is a purpose to it and that purpose is that we will be changed by the time we reach Good Friday and Easter. Lent reminds us that the Christian life is a journey. When we become Christians we donít reach a static state which continues until we die and go to be with our Lord. When we become Christians we start on a journey of becoming more like Jesus, a journey where we work out what it means to love God and our neighbours as ourselves.
One of our members told me a helpful story recently. A little boy fell out of bed at night. "That was a silly thing to do," said his mother. "Why did you do that?" "It must have been because I stayed too near to where I got in," he replied.
Have you stayed too near to where you got in? The Christian life is a journey and we are always moving further and deeper and if we are not, something is wrong and needs correcting. God always has so much more blessing to reveal.
Whatever point we think we have reached in our Christian walk, there is always more to go and it is never too late to move on again. Has your faith grown and moved on this last year? If not, then Lent is a good time to contemplate this. A good time to say, "Lord God, is this all?"
A friend of ours once said this to God and she was amazed by God's answer. God always responds to genuine and sincere questions from the heart. Is this your question for Lent, "Lord God, is this all?"
Try this question and be prepared to be taken deeper and further into Godís love, God's blessing. Be prepared for the fact that Godís love is sometimes expressed in discipline, as with any loving father for his children. Be prepared to contemplate change; change in attitudes, habits, thinking. Be prepared to repent and be prepared for the blessing that surely follows, and be prepared for the fact that we are never too old to respond to God in this way. In other words be prepared for the 'Journey with Jesus' that He is longing to take you on.
We are looking forward to our own particular journey this Lent and beyond as we start our sabbatical. We are so aware of the privilege we have of being able to go deeper and further on our 'Journey with Jesus'.
We pray that when we return in June, we will all have reached a new place in our journeys. May our Lord bless and protect you all while we are away.
Yours in Christ,
Karen and Bob Street
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