Called to serve God by increasing awareness of His presence and declaring His love



I’m just coming to the end of a week’s skiing holiday in Austria and it’s been wonderful in all senses of the word. Wonderful scenery, wonderful snow, wonderful weather. But the sunshine is gradually melting the snow and every evening when we get back to our hotel you can hear the drip, drip, drip from the snow-clad roofs and see the pools of ice-cold water from the piles of snow along the footpaths. High up on the mountain tops, I’ve had time to think, reflect and be thankful for all the wonderful blessings in my life.

Lent, as a season, is about reflecting, simplifying, cleansing. It’s about stripping away, forgiveness, and grace. It’s also about love and freedom and growth.

It’s a time we remember Jesus being tempted in the desert for 40 days (hence the reason Lent is 40 days long), teaching the people about God’s love and how we should love others, breaking bread with his disciples, and living out God’s will for his life.

In Lent, we refocus on the renewing waters of baptism, the cleansing river, the fountain of grace.

Some say that the Sundays in Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days; rather, they are considered celebration days or “little Easters”. Is this missing the point a little? Lent is a journey, a time of self-reflection and examination of the heart, a time when we invite God in to do the work of shaping us and moulding us into His likeness.

It’s a process, and it takes time.

How can we create space for this in our worship?

How can we make this season more meaningful?

How can we capture the quietness, the self-reflection, the invitation to come just as we are in our Lenten services?

There are some themes and symbols that appear over and over again in scripture: creation, light, bread, water.

Water symbolizes baptism and rebirth, healing and renewal, creation and order from chaos. It ebbs and flows, waves and ripples: a living, moving thing. It sustains us and life on earth. It cleanses us and makes us new.

We hear about water in the beginning and how God created order from the chaos. We read about Noah’s Ark and the waters that covered the earth and Moses and the Israelites crossing through the Red Sea on their way to the Promised Land.

In the New Testament, we remember Jesus’ Baptism, the blind man regaining his sight, and the Samaritan woman at the well. We hear about Jesus walking on water and calming the storm with his hand and the night he washed his disciples’ feet.

These stories remind us that God offers us living water, that he is our source of life. We are reborn through baptism, healed and renewed through the cleansing flood of his grace, and recreated from the inside out as he brings order from chaos.

We began this month at Church with the Baptism of a young child. We invite you to remember your own baptism and the covenants that were made at that time. At the end of this month as we begin the journey leading up to Easter, be born again, be healed, feel renewed, feel alive, enjoy each new day – and walk it with Jesus at your side.