On the 17th of February, the first day of Lent, we set out on a journey together, a journey that we shall be following throughout this month of March until we arrive together on 4th April at the glorious feast of Easter.
This Lenten journey
of forty days is a time for reflection, as we travel we need to look at
ourselves to see clearly just what we need to do to keep to the right path and
not be tempted to go astray.
We are reminded how Jesus went through just such a period of forty days in the desert, undergoing temptations from the devil as he prepared himself for his three years of ministry.
When we set
out on a long journey, we are obliged to stop at intervals in order to take on
refreshment to keep us going. As we make our Lenten journey we should be doing the
same; here at St Hilda’s we have the opportunity for spiritual “refreshment
stops” with the weekly prayer sessions every Saturday in church and the
Stations of the Cross on Zoom each Sunday evening. Please take advantage of
these if you are able.
We are all
travelling this road together, let us extend a helping hand in whatever way we
can to those in need, those struggling to keep up or even straying from the right
path. We can do this through prayer or in deeds of charity, so that we will all
be able to arrive together at the end of
this forty day journey to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.
lives, our hearts know well, nought from us his love shall sever.”
We set off
into the new month of April in the heart of the most significant seven days in
the church’s year – we are in Holy Week.
On the 1st
we celebrate Maundy Thursday – Jesus and
his apostles were gathered together for a meal, as they did every year, to
celebrate the feast of the Passover; but this time it was to be so very different!
Jesus uttered the words “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” over the bread
and wine that they were all to share – an act that is perpetuated every single
day by a priest somewhere in the world.
the one we know as the Last Supper, was
the start of the momentous story of the Passion; after the gathering in the
Upper Room the tension begins to rise as
we see Jesus alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, terrified because he knew what
he was going to have to endure yet agreeing to go through with it in order to
fulfil the Will of his Father.
Stations of the Cross take us through the events of the next three days, Good
Friday through to Easter Sunday. To many such an account of betrayal, humiliation,
brutality and execution would seem an utter failure but as Christians we know
that it was just the opposite. Death was
not the end; as on Easter morning the stone was rolled away and our Lord and
Saviour rose from the tomb. He had conquered death, the way to heaven had been
opened up for all mankind.
I pray that
you and your loved ones have a peaceful and joyful Easter and that soon the
shadow of this dreadful virus will have disappeared from our lives.