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Church News Volume 5, Issue 4 (March 2004)

Dear friends,

The season of Lent is upon us once again. A time for reflection as to the things we do or do not do in life that can adversely affect others and ourselves. "Sin" is the religious word for this.

How often do we say things in the heat of the moment, or as un-thought-through, cast away, and flippant remarks that we find can hurt others and affect our relationship with them? Lent is the time to take stock of our life and try to amend those things we do of which we are ashamed and sorry.

All religions have a time in the year for such reflection. Christianity is no exception. The call in Lent is to reflect, repent, and return to God's ways, obeying God's rules for life.

What are God's rules?

Love God and love our neighbours.

How can we love God?

Open our eyes to see God at work in His world all around us. His handy work is clear for those who look and see. The beauty of creation, the intricate design of life itself, our integral place in the scheme of things being made in the image of God Himself. Though we have made a mess of that image by the evil things we do, God is still willing to love us and bless us and forgive us if we ask for it.

How can we love our neighbour?

Open our eyes to those who are around us, in the immediate community of our villages, in our region, in our country, in our world. See the suffering caused by the greed of others and in part by our waste of resources. See the pain inflicted upon others in the name of justice and the cause of right, truth, political or religious fervour, negligence of duty and responsibility, or downright evil and dark ways. What can you do to help someone else find some relief from their pain and suffering? Act to offer a hand, give to a charity and support someone else to help on your behalf, look for ways to contribute to the community rather than always taking what others give you.

The call of Lent is the call to reflect, repent and return our life to the course set by God.

Are we truly sorry for the things we have done and the things we have omitted to do in our life? These are the things that separate us from God, they mar and soil the image of God in which we are made. If we are really sorry we can return to God and ask His forgiveness, promise to amend our ways (repent) and in the sure knowledge that we have been forgiven continue on our way.

Lent is also the time for us in the Christian faith to reflect upon the life and passion (suffering) of Jesus. For we believe that it was because of the way we fall from God's image for us, that Jesus had to die on the Cross so that our sins might be forgiven. He took upon Himself our sinfulness, to suffer and die in our place, to take our punishment for our sin upon Himself so that we might not have to suffer but be restored to the image of God. Jesus died and then rose again from the dead, showing us that the final punishment for sin, i.e. death, could be conquered and eternal life offered to all who turn to the Lord and follow His ways. Holy Week and Easter is a time when we give thanks to God for all His wonderful love in offering us forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross with the hope of eternal life.

Hear the call of Lent.

Reflect, repent, and return to God's ways, obeying God's rules for life. Then you will find the forgiveness God offers you, you will live in the knowledge and the light of God, you will have a share in the victory over death, you will have a place in eternal life.

Want to talk further?

Give me a call, or come and worship in church.

Revd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Sunday 04 March 2018