Dear Church Family,
At the heart of all the major faiths is the basic human need to journey. Pilgrimage is the way of the Hindu to Benares, the Muslim to Mecca, the Jew to Jerusalem or the Christian to the Holy Land. How strange then that this Lent our journey is likely to be no more adventurous than a walk to the fridge or a trek to the sofa! But take heart, the latest government road map is looking cautiously optimistic.
Now I like to think that I am a very positive thinking person, my glass is not only half full it usually has a glace cherry on a cocktail stick perched on top! But I confess to finding this year very different. We had to say goodbye to our characterful family Norfolk/Border terrier 'Bobby' after 16 years and due to Covid restrictions we were not allowed into the vets and so we cried our farewells in the car park. And although I know there are many sad stories of human loss and separation the world over, made all the more tragic due to the pandemic, that knowledge does not lessen my sadness and frustration at not seeing my lovely family or meeting with friends in person. Watching West Ham beat Tottenham last Sunday with my sister on Zoom, whilst being an obvious pleasure, was still not quite the same as sitting next to her shouting at the ref!
So how is your Lent journey looking this year? We know from the Bible and from history that walking in faith is not always the easy path. We only have to look at this Sunday's gospel reading from Mark chapter 8, when Peter takes Jesus to task for the things he was saying about being rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, being killed, and after three days rising again: Jesus says to Peter “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Poor Peter, he was just saying what was on his heart!
So, I ask again how is your Lent journey looking this year? Are we able, maybe more than previous years, to make our Pilgrimage inwards to the centre of ourselves, to the heart of our faith, to Jesus who is the Christ? Throughout our lives our pilgrimage will at times be by ourselves and at other times together as a worshipping community, whether online, or soon, hopefully, together in our places of worship. The route we take may be unfamiliar even challenging but what matters is that we journey, we seek, and most importantly we allow God to find us ready and waiting to enter into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, so that we may receive the grace that flows from the cross that makes all things new.
We should never forget that individually and together we are the Body of Christ and it is right that we should meet together on the pilgrimage of life. The Parish Church of Hutton is where God has called us, at this time, to meet and share in his communion and if we have learnt nothing over this past year the one thing we will not forget is that Hutton Parish Church is so much more than a building!
Make the most of this time of Lent to worship God and to support one another in our Christian Pilgrimage. Take just a few minutes each day to be still and reflect quietly - if you can. Maybe read a few verses from the bible and consider their meaning for us today. As you reflect on the scripture reading you might pray for the world, for peace in countries divided by war and relief of suffering, for those ill with Covid and those treating the sick. Pray for our own country, our towns and our neighbours, pray also for the Church and its mission in the world, and importantly, pray for yourself and for all those you know who are in need of God’s Love.
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
After Church Zoom Coffee