Lent

Lent is a challenge to look at our lives with the eyes of truth. Have we allowed love to take seed and grow in us ? ? Are we living the truth of Christ Jesus with us ; that we are loved and we are lovely ?

Contents :

a photo of pink cherry blossom . Fortieth Day of Lent
"My lips will tell of your justice and day by day of your help (though it can never tell it all).Oh God you have taught me from my youth and I proclaim your wonder still."
Psalm 70

The Lord is just indeed.

He stands for all that is right and good. He shows us a clear path to walk down- a path of Truth and Honesty. It is important that we speak of the goodness of God.

When you have a relationship with God there are so many instances where He leads and guides and helps us, that it is impossible to tell all that he does in our lives, yet tell we must. For the Glory of God is a wonder to behold and it is right to give thanks and praise and to tell of His deeds, that often will be seen, and know the truth of this in our lives and be drawn to Him.

Every day God helps us, not just occasionally, but in every moment we can call upon Him, knowing that He is there and will help. This is the wonder of God - that He helps in any one moment, if only we ask. His love, His goodness and His mercy are available always, for us all. It is therefore a duty when God blesses us that we sing out and let it be known, not for our own aggrandisment, but for God's Glory.

Jesus says that every thing He does comes from the Father, he illuminates for us the Power of Love and Oneness in action. When you live in God, he comes to live in you. You are not alone.

He is here with you and is with you still, from your youth. How many things then must you have to tell of the wonder of God in your life - if only you can remember them all !

St John (John 21:25), says if he wrote of all the things that Jesus did it could not be written. This must be true then for all the people He helps in every moment of their lives, for all time - how many books of praise and wonderment that is.

Glory to God indeed who fills the world with Love and Justice, if only we can see. Amen.

Let us sing praises and tell of his
goodness . He is a mighty Judge
and a just ruler.
he is worthy of Glory.
Praise God forever. Amen.

a photo of Linda praying . Thirty ninth Day of Lent
"The Lord is my light and my help. Whom Shall I fear ? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, before whom shall I shrink ?"
Psalm 26 : 1-3

When we accept and acknowledge that the Lord is help, we begin to realise that fear is powerless to stop us.

We begin to see that fear and love are not compatible. We begin to find new confidence in Him and new confidence in ourself living in Him ! We realise then that no one can make us afraid for God is with us and He is greater than all evil. Therefore there is nothing to fear, for He has triumphed over all - this is the meaning of the Passion - Christ challenging all fear and evil by the greatest power of all - the Power of Love.

And Christ is triumphant, therefore we have nothing to fear if we live in Him. We can live in His Light and this will help us to see clearly.

Again the words of the Old Testament are fulfilled by the Word of God in the New Testament. This is the meaning of the Passion.

The Lord is the stronghold of my life - this means He will hold and protect me, keep me safe. My life is held safely in Him. What joy and strength this gives me, if I can fully trust the truth of this. I have nothing to fear as I walk through life, because He is my stronghold. Christ comes to show us we have nothing to fear of death itself, because He has conquered death and restored for us a path of Life, lit by His Holy Light.

Praise God indeed for such a deed-
there is nothing and no one to fear.
All we need do is become aware of the
truth of the Love of God - the Light
of the World, illuminating Truth and
banishing all fear for all time.
Praise God indeed, forever and ever.
Amen

a photo of a sparkler alight . Thirty eighth Day of Lent
"Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I, the Light of the World, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in me need not stray in the dark anymore."
John 12 :44-46

What a wonderful gift of Hope this reading brings us today - the Light of the World has come into the world.

What an amazing thing to do for us, so that we will not be in the dark anymore, but will have the light of Christ with us forevermore. This is the hope of the world - that it will find the Truth of the Light of the World.

For light banishes all darkness and evil is no more where the true light shines. All we need to do is to believe in Jesus Christ - He shows us, by the Divine Light in Him, that He is the Son of God. he shows us how close the Father and the Son are - for they are one, held in the Light of Love and nothing can separate them; for where the Son is, so is the father and where the father is, so is the Son.

And such is the gift of God that we can be one with them and live in the light of life - the life of Jesus Christ lives in us and we in Him.Praise God for the wonder of this miraculous gift of love given to us all, if only we dare to, allow ourselves to believe !

Praise God forever and ever,
for this Gift of Life,
this Gift of Light,
the ultimate Gift of Love,
bringing healing, hope and joy
for all. Amen.

a photo of white pear blossom . Thirty seventh Day of Lent
"Yahweh spoke to Moses, he said : Speak to Aaron and his sons : let them be consecrated through the holy offerings of the sons of Israel and not profane my holy name; for my sake they are to sanctify it ; I am Yahweh."
Leviticus 22 : 1-3

The truth is that God's name is Holy and God wants us to respect His name - to sancify it, not use it falsely or wrongly.

When we speak God's name, He hears. We should the approach God with awe and wonder at His generosity - that we can call upon His holy name.

When He is called upon, He hears and answers. He comes to us and He brings His Power to bear upon our lives, He meets our needs, He protects and loves us.

Thus it is important that we honor His name and know that when we call upon Him we are in the presence of the Most High, who is worthy of honor and praise, of trust and love.

Let us approach God with new awareness, when we speak His name. Let us not use it in vain, but keep it to be used in sacred moments and moments of need. Each contact we have with God is a blessing of love, let us then be loving and aware of His holiness. Let us rely on Him totally. Let Him know that when we call upon Him we are genuinely seeking His presence and we wish to communicate, whether this is a prayer request or a cry for help.

Let us only use His Holy name in love.Amen.

Let us rejoice in the Loveliness
and the Power of God's Holy
Name.
Let us rejoice in the blessing that
we are free to call upon Him.
Let us give glory and praise
to God, for His love
and generosity, for
sharing his name with us and
allowing us to call upon Him
anytime, in Hope and Wonder.
Amen.

a photo of white pear blossom . Thirty sixth Day of Lent
"Heal me Yahweh and I shall be really healed, save me and I shall be saved, for you alone are my hope."
Jeremiah 17 :14

This is the faith we need, the is the trust we need, this is the hope we cling to : that God who is all powerful, everliving, all compassion and mercy, will heal us fully, when He heals us, will save us absolutely , without a doubt.

This is the Faith the people of Yahweh had in their God - that he was true to His word.

Do we have this level of faith in God to heal and save us ? Perhaps first we need to reflect on what healing and saving mean ? Healing may not necessarily mean wellness, saving may not necessarily be the rescue we imagine. But what is important is our total reliance on God's perfect will, for that we can be certain, will be true.

Healing cannot be partial. Healing is. Saving cannot be partial. Saving is. Therefore let us place our hearts and minds in confidence in the Hope of the Lord and pray that His will be done : that His will to heal us be done. That His will to save us be done.

And then we discover with joy that it is so, for Christ is with us and He is triumphant over all evil. He leads us on a path of hope to fullness of healing - He saves us by leading us on a path of love, so that all of us is saved.

Let us be patient then with ourselves because healing occurs outside of time and space with God, but we still remain in time and space and thus may not always understand and know that His will is done and all healing is complete - it may take time and space to feel and know the Truth that he knows now, for He is all and His word is whole and complete. In this we place our trust.

This is where Hope flows to and from. This then is our joy and our certainty. We are healed and we are saved. Amen.

a photo of white and red tulips by a white wall in the sun . Thirty fifth Day of Lent
"Yahweh your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. he will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you, as on a day of festival."
Zepaniah 3 : 17-18

Let us out our trust in God - and with confidence claim the Truth that He is with us.

he always brings victory over evil, therefore we need not be afraid, for fear plays into the hands of the enemy.

How wonderful to know that He will renew us by His love - what power is this ? What joy and delight. let us definitely then live our lioves in confidence and joy, knowing the amazing power of His love.

For when all seems lost, He will save us. When all seems dark, He is light. We need noty be afraid, only walk ahead with confidence. he delights in us. He watches over us. he leads us and guides us and protects us. His way leads to love. His love is immeasurable and he celebrates each victory with us. He shares in our joy such that he dances with delight !

What friendship, what involvement, what caring He shows us.

Therefore we sing songs of joy and praise to the Lord, for all His goodness and His love. he keeps us safe, he restores us to right seeing, He blesses all in His name.

Praise God forever and ever. Amen.

a photo of two pigeons sitting on a fence . Thirty fourth Day of Lent
" How beautiful you are, my love.How beautiful you are !"
Song of Songs

How wonderful and amazing it is to be told that you are beautiful.

Can we allow this into ourselves and believe it ? For it is the truth.

God has made each one of us beautiful and He wants us to know this. We do always feel beautiful, so how important it is that we are told.

We then need to listen, hear and accept the truth of this. Then we will be filled with Joy : the Joy of the Bridegroom on his wedding day, who loves and knows his beloved is beautiful. This is the precious relationship of Love, Joy, and Beauty, best described in the imagery of a wedding - the intimacy of a shared love and knowledge of that love, which is infinite and joy which is immeasurable.

This is the imagery God wants to show us; the depths of His love for us. How beautiful we are and how truly beautiful He is too.

The one who is loved is beautiful; how can our joy not be complete ? For he has made us and He wants us to share that joy and beauty, that intimacy of love with Him.

Let us pray to see and know
our own beauty and that
of each other.
Let us give thanks for Joy
unbound, flowing from the Heart of
Love. 
May our joy be complete in Him. Amen

a photo of a pie, made by the author. Thirty third Day of Lent
" On this mountain : the Lord of Hosts will prepare for all people a banquet of rich food...On this mountain he will remove the morning veil covering our people and the shroud enwrapping our nation. He will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every cheek.;
Isaiha 25:6

This reading is an immense blessing and comfort to us. It tells us of the absolute love and compassion of the Lord our God.

It tells us to not be afraid, no, but be comforted. The Lord our God brings us all to life.He destroys death.

It is a promise of Christ who is love and mercy. It is promise that grief will be no more when we come to live in His light and His truth.

We will live, not die, as He lives. He understands and knows how hard it is to us to lose our loved ones and how hard it is to face our own death. Yet this is His promise - He will bring us to life and our sadness will turn to gladness when we see with new eyes the Power and Wonder of God and the Truth of His love and His desire for us to be with Him.

This is an absolute promise bringing absolute hope.

Let us believe and trust
then in God's promise,
for he never lets us down.
The wonder of God is complete
and True. Amen.

a photo of a meadow, taken early in the morning sun. Thirty second Day of Lent
" The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit."
Psalm 23

This reminds us of the comfort of the Lord; he is our all.

He leads us, as the shepherd leads his flock and therefore we will come to no harm , because he cares for each one of us.

We need nothing more than to trust in faith and follow our God. He will make sure that we have all we need. He will comfort us when we are sick. He will give us food and drink and he will give us safe passage, for he is Our Lord.

He will give us safety and comfort while we rest and he will fill us again and again, to revive and strengthen us. Whenever we feel lost or worn out, we only need look to God and ask for his help. If we call his name, he will answer, for he loves us and he will never abandon us.

We can always find rest in him and comfort, no matter how weary we are. So there is nothing to fear. We just need to remember the Good Shpeherd and call on Him to find us and comfort us and guide us, always safely. Amen

Lord we thank you for your goodnness 
and with confidence we trust in you,
 that you will always protect us 
 and lead us safely and comfort 
 us in our need.Amen

a photo of a seagull in flight, very low. Thirty first Day of Lent
" Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you came to birth I conceieved you. I have appointed you as prophet to the nation. I said , Ah Lord Yahweh look I do not know how to speak, I am a child."
Jeremiah 1:4

It is comforting to know that God has always known us, even before we were born.

It gives strength of purpose and consolation to know we have been called by God to serve and that service was meant to be. It is important then to serve and to speak ; to speak for God, knowing it is his will and ever if we feel small and unable, even if we do not know what to say, God has already blessed us and he will guide us and help us, for we are his children.

How comforting to know that we are totaly his children , he knows we we feel small and helpless, but he is strong and powerful and he will will never abandon us.

When he wants us to speak he will give us the words. He will speak through us because it is his will, therefore we need not be afraid because if what we do, what we speak, is God's will then he will be with us and we cannot be wrong. For he has loved us and guided us from the very beginning. Amazing and wonderful. Amen.

Let us thank God for his 
many blessings, for his
gift of life to us and for his
will that flows in us,
throughout our lives.Amen.

a photo of a banner on a beach saying Come and Join In, Sheringham Beach Mission. Thirtieth Day of Lent
"Some boast of chariots, some of horses, but we boast about the name of Yahweh our God : theirs to crumple and fall; but we shall stand and stand firm !"
Psalm 20:8

It is good to boast about God - of the wonder of his works and of his great and glorious name.

In boasting about God's name we are empowering ourselves; uplifted in the truth of the power and wonder of God who is true and helps us stand firm, no matter what the circumstances : he is with us.

Praising God's name takes us away from fear and despair. When we put our trust in material things or creatures, we will never be certain of them, but we can always trust in God.

He will never let us down.

Knowing this we can hold onto him with faith and that in turn gives us the courage to stand up against the foe, to stand up against being attacked and not only to stand, but to stand with dignity and confidence; to stand firm in the face of evil, for God is with us and he will deliver us.

Praise indeed to God. Praise in God's holy and precious name lifts us into light, truth, hope and safety. This is why we can stand firm.

We call upon God's holy name knowing he will hear us and answer us and help us. How tall we can then stand. Tall indeed !

 Let us always remember God's
Holy Name
and rejoice in Him, His Power and
Presence,
let us always be confident
and sing his Praises. Amen.

a photo of church candles alight on a stand Twenty ninth Day of Lent
Yahweh spoke to Moses and said " Say this to Aaron, When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps must throw their light towards the front of the lamp-stand."
Numbers 8 : 1-2

It is so important to let your light shine fully so that it can be seen clearly.

This is the meaning of this reading - and is a pointer to the Gospel reading of " don't let your light shine under a tub "(Matthew 5:13-16)

Too often we do not let our light shine clearly and brightly. We all carry the light of God - let it shine bright, so that all can know you are of God and that his light shines bright in you.

We are given a light to bring life to the world, to make a difference. If our lights shine and are clearly seen, then others may be drawn to God through us. We serve him best by shining brightly and bringing the light he has given us into the world. Then we will be a beacon of love and only goodness will flow from us and to us.

God asks us to place our lights in the best place to be seen, so that we can serve to the best of our ability.

Let us pray then that our lights
are not hidden from view
but are clearly seen by all
shining a light for God in
the world. Amen

a photo of blossom in a hedge Twenty eighth Day of Lent
"..but the prophet who prophecies to peace can only be recognized as a thing sent by Yahweh when the words come true. "
Jeremiah 28

This is an indication of how to tell that a prophet comes from God and speaks God's word.

Truly : for in all truth if it is the word of God it will come true. Thus shall we know if someone is really speaking God's word.

It is easy to predict war and punishment, but far more difficult to prophesy for peace in the world. Peace truly comes from God and if God's word is given, he will keep it. This is how we can trust that something is true.

This in a sense is an Ignatian form of discernment. If it is God's word that you hear in prayer and meditation or read or someone speaks to you, you will know it by its truth.

It is difficult in these days to know who speaks truly. There are many false prophets or would-be prophets. But peace, we know, comes from God. Also a word spoken by God will always be true. By their fruits will we know them - the fruits of the Spirit.

This is so important when there is so much false teaching around. We must trust and know the word of God is true and we must be able to discern who speaks His word; who is a true prophet.

Much is the word of God needed now. Therefore we need to pray greatly for the true gifts of discernment and right judgment.

Praise God indeed that he can
bring peace out of chaos and that
His word will always be true.
Give thanks and praise for God's
blessings and His messages
of truth.Amen

a photo of a country track Twenty seventh Day of Lent
"Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds, after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we will live in his presence."
Hosea 6 : 1-3

Always we need to return to God, every time we feel battered, shaken, challenged, lost, we need always to return to God who will heal our wounds.

Sometimes we are attacked because we are true to God, other times God may show us things we would rather not see. This may be painful yet always he is tender and loving. He always has our best interest at heart and he is always true and truthful.

He enables us to see the truth even if this challenges our perception and knowledge. We can tell if it is God who is seeming to bring us into a painful situation , because there will always be truth at the centre and always a path of healing and hope. God never leaves us in pain. he will always be with us and help us in our woundedness.

He helps us grow towards love, whether it is love of him, our neighbour or ourselves. Always he moves with us and brings us closer to light and life and truth and love.

Christ's journey on earth was ultimately an immensely painful experience - beyond words or imagination, yet he was not left in this state, no his absolute abandonment to trust of God his Father and his open heart , filled with love and compassion, opened the way to us all to find healing and hope when all seems helpless.

It opened the way for each of us to find life long and true, eternal, healed and whole.

The meaning of this reading is God's promise of Christ's gift to us all yet to come - a prophecy now fulfilled; a total healing path of love through any pain. What an immense gift, the gift of life given through the Father by the Son and by the Father through the Son, with the power of the Holy Spirit - an ultimate gift of love. Praise God indeed.,

Lord help us always see
the Truth, whatever pain
we are in and
however dark our path, 
let us not forget you are with
us and you bless us always
with the promise of a new life.
Amen

a photo of blackthorn blossom Twenty sixth Day of Lent
"No one is meaner than the man who is mean to himself"
Ecclessiasticus 14 : 6

God commands us to love - to love God and your neighbour as your yourself. He therefore wants you to love yourself also.

Thus the person who is mean to himself, who may feel it is in someway perhaps a noble thing to put himself down or even to think of himself - and punish himself, is not following God's command.Love is at the centre of our lives in God and that love must flow automatically and centrally with God's grace, from ourselves.

People are harsh with their bodies, meagre in generousity to themselves, thinking perhaps in some way this is humble and emualating Christ's poverty and suffering, in some small way. The meaning of take up your cross can be wrongly interpreted. It does not mean punish yourself, suffer for suffering's sake. It really means Be Love in all its truth and simplicity.

Be kind and compassionate, let goodness and love enter into your suffering and let love alone be the response.

Suffering can thus be transcended and love shines out from within the most painful places.

Let our intention always be love, to love and be loved. And that love must not just be for others but must also be for ourselves. Thus God can enter into a welcoming heart. And God can love us even more than we can love ourselves. The man will have no meaness in him and no meanness will flow in or from him; this is the glory of God who bids us love ourselves and who helps us to do by his grace.

Praise God for his Love and Mercy
for his right judgement
for his wisdom in bidding
us to love all, 
including ourselves ! Amen

a photo of an old wooden quay Twenty fifth Day of Lent
"Yahweh says this : I remember the affection of your youth, the love of your bridal days : you followed me through the wilderness, through a land unknown."
Jer 2:2

This reading is about love and trust. The love that God has for his people and the trust they have in him.

Trust enough to love and confidence even in the wilderness.

This is trust indeed, for it is not easy to enter the wilderness which is barren and empty, relying not on yourself, but an unseen God.

Unseen, maybe, yet not unknown. For our God knows us and makes himself known to us. And this is more fuly revealed through Jesus Christ in the Gosepls, who tells us if we have seen him, then we have seen the Father; John 14 :9.

Jesus too enters the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry : there better to reply on God , his Father, to hear him.

The Lord leads us into unknown places. we dare to follow because we know he is a God of love. Though temptation try us and evil attack us and try to lead us astray, yet God is steadfast and true. He will protect us and he will lead us on.

Life may seem comfortable and known, yet truly nothing is certain. In each moment there are a thousand choices to make. In each second we rely on God and he leads and guides us safely through life, so that even when everything is taken away, whether we expected to be led here to the barren place, God shines most brightly then. Our dependence on him is complete and he fails us not.

For this is the wonder of God. We can see him most clearly when all is taken away. When we rely on him totally to provide he never fails us.

In the desert fears may come yet a trusting heart will always be defended from evil, for this is God's promise, so clearly confirmed in Jesus' Lord's Prayer.

Lord you  lead us
in trust and love.
You bless us and save us
You meet our every need
and you deliver us from all evil.
Praise God indeed.Praise God.

a photo of a soliatry bird high in the early morning sky Twenty fourth Day of Lent
"The Lord heard them and looked kindly on their distress. The people fasted for many days throughout Judea as well as in Jerusalem before the sanctuary of the Lord Almighty."
Judith 4:13

How wonderful it is to know that when we call to God, God hears us.

We are not alone, unloved or uncared for. God is with us and he hears us in our distress.

And more than hearing us, he is kindly towards us - what an amazing God to care so much for us.

No wonder they went to the sanctuary to fast; this is the way to be close to God for it is in the sanctuary that he is found.

So if we come as close to God as we can in thanks and gratitude, he wil hear and know.

It is always about relationship with God. It is not a one way communication and this is most worthy of thanks and praise.

Fasting helps us to come close to God because we take away that which we seem to need - so that we can become aware of what we truly need - God !

Fasting then helps us focus our spititual attention on God and is a way of honouring him. It says Lord, I give-up all earthly pleasures and needs to rely more fully upon you.

This is the blessing; our awareness brings us into close relationship with God who always looks after us and hears us in our needs. Praise God indeed for he is always there.

Blesssings abound because
God is with us.
He hears our cries 
for help and looks
kindly on us in 
our distress.
What kindness is this ?
What joy and wonder !
Amen.

a photo of bare twigs against the setting sun Twenty third Day of Lent
"My God I am ashamed. I blush to lift my face to you my God, for our crimes have increased until they are higher than our heads and our sin has piled up to heaven."
Ezra 9:6

When we think of the things we have done wrong, the things we have not got right and our countless failures on many levels they indeed can seem as if they pile up so high that they reach heaven; how many times do we, especially as we grow older , have more to count ?

Shame however can take us away from God if we are not aware of the danger. It can be healthy to be ashamed if this draws us nearer to goodness and helps us seek God's blessing and forgiveness. Indeed we need his mercy and his love, so much more then; because it is the grace of God who loves and accepts us fully, despite our failings and our sins, that helps us to receive his forgiveness and helps us to forgive others and more importantly, ourselves.

Shame however can get stuck in us and lead us away from God. This is not healthy shame but is the shame that evil delights in - the shame that binds us away from love. It is well to remember this in our heart, when we reflect on our own failings - the reason is to draw interiorly clost to God, so let us not be overwhelmed by our seemingly high pile of misdeeds.

Let us remember to focus on love; God's love for us, our love for others and especially pray for healing in our love for ourselves. For this is the start of joy - to be loved and loving, forgiven and forgiving, to receive mercy and be merciful.And this is the aim of Lent.

Praise God forever and ever for his power of love , that overlooks all hurt and wrongdoing and leads us back to healing and wholeness.

May we be blessed this Lent.
may we be able to truly let go
of our shame and grow 
in goodness towards God,
towards Love,
towards healing and Hope. Amen.

a photo of a seagull on a buoy Twenty second Day of Lent
"I am full of strength (of the breath of Yahweh) of justice and courage. "
Micah 3 :11

What a wonderful reminder of the power of the Holy Spirit - the breath of God who fills us with God's strength and enables us to stand firm and fight for justice and to have the courage to do so.

Empowered by the Spirit, fear is banished. It is God's strength that flows within us and gives us the courage to speak out, to not be victims or slaves of injustice, but to be true people - free in the Spirit of God.

What power comes from knowing God. What possibilities are there available now and achievable ?

All that seems impossible is now seen with truth - the Truth of God - for nothing is impossible to God. For he is with us and he alone is our goodness and our strength and he stands firm for truth and justice against the enemy.

Let us pray then to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us always seek justice and truth and may we always find courage when we call upon God to fill us and lead us courageously to seek truth. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Praise indeed for right vision 
and right speech, blessed by 
the Holy Spirit who 
empowers us to fight 
for  truth and justice 
- for Truth and  Justice are of God ! Amen.

a photo of two seagulls in flight Twenty first Day of Lent
Moses answered the people" Have no fear ! Stand firm and you will see what Yahweh will do to save you today." "
Exodus 14:13

Have no fear. What a powerful statement and so hard to acheive in reality.

Because fear takes us away from God and confuses us. It can incapacitate us. Fear is the opposite of love and so we must cling to love, when fear comes knocking, we must cling to God.

This is also the phrase most used by Christ in the Gospels. Be not afraid - and again and again, because God is love and in this resides no fear , 1 John 4:18 .

This is why we need to stand firm and trust in God. Fear causes us to slide down the slippery slope away from the truth and God.

If we can keep fear away, can stand firm in God, he will save us from all the things that have caused the fear.

And when will he do this ? Not at some future indefinite time - no - he will do it today. He will do it right now if you let him save you.

Once again we return to Christ who is our saviour. The Son of God leads us to his Father- the Spirit of God is released into our lives. Christ came especially to save us that no one would be lost.

This is important to remember especially when fear overwhelms us.

Call on God. he will save you. Use his Holy name. He will protect you.

And he will touch all our hearts with love if we allow him. So many hurts will then be healed, because Jesus Christ comes to save us from fear, which brings falsehood and leads us to Truth.

Praise God forever for his gift - his Son - the Saviour of the whole world.

See how he saves ! Amen

Praise God indeed for his Saving
Grace
for Love poured out upon us
to Banish all fear.
Praise God forever. Amen.

a photo of a fishing boat in harbour Twentieth Day of Lent
"Think of the fish we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. Here we are wasting away, stripped of everything; there is nothing but manna for us to look at ! "
Numbers 11 : 5-6

When we think of other times, what we had in the past (or even could have in the future), it can lead us to be very unhappy with what we presently have.

The important thing about living a spiritual life is the value of the present moment, for this is where we meet God and are blessed.

Sometimes the most amazing and beautiful things are the simplest. They did not have all the wonderful food they had in Egypt, but they had the food of heaven - God's perfect gift for them. Yet they had lost their awareness of the amazing wonder of such a gift; one that brought them life and sustained them in the desert. They were dwelling on their loss and so were less aware of the spiritual blessing that God was providng for them : Life.

Again the manna, the bread from heaven, is a symbol of what is yet to come - the living bread of heaven, the Son of God himself : Jesus Christ.

Let us approach the Eucharist we receive with renewed love, passion, awareness and gratitude remembering the fulness of this gift - the living presence of God with us.

Let us be sustained and strengthened by this amazing, awesome gift of love and give thanks and praise for the goodness of God who feeds us with the life of His Son.

Let us focus on the spiritually immense offering we receive and not worry about material things. Let us not worry about the past and the future because we are blessed in the present moment and eternally by the living presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

We need nothing else. He will provide for our needs and will never fail us.

What an amazing food to receive. Amen

Lord may we know the
blessings we receive.
May we ever be grateful for
 the precious gift of
 your Son who comes to
 us in the breaking of bread,
 our most holy Eucharist.
 Amen.

a photo of a crucifix Nineteenth Day of Lent
"Why do you set injustice before me, why do you look on where there is tyranny ? Outrage and violence this is all I see, all is contention and discord flourishes. "
Habakkuk 1:3

These things -injustice, tyranny, violence, discord - are of the world.

When we look upon the world with our earthy eyes we may feel overwhelmed by the things we see and dismayed that bad things are flourishing.

We therefore need to grow in awareness of God's Holy Presence in us and around us so that we might feel safe and see the truth with our spiritual eyes. The truth is His promise and He never lets us down.

Bad things happen in the world but Jesus says I am not of the world (John 17:16) and neither are his followers. We have to live our lives on spiritual principles - we are guided by love when we focus on God and ask for his blessing.

We see truly then what is of the world and what is of heaven. We see new possibilities because we are blessed by hope and peace which keeps us safe and we are guided by God's holy light to see things more clearly.

Guided by light all things are possible.

All hope is revealed and life is given to us in abundance - because we live in Christ and He lives in us. Praise God indeed.

 Let us pray then with all sincerity
 to see the world with our spiritual eyes 
 so that we do not ger downcast and overwhelmed. 
 Rather - let us pray 
 that we see the light and mercy of God
 shining brightly in the world
 for all to see. Amen

a photo of the grounds of The Shrine of Our Lady Walsingham Eighteenth Day of Lent
"Learn where knowledge is, where strength, where understanding, and so learn where length of days is, where life, where the light of the eyes and where peace. "
Baruch 3:14

This is profoundly wise reading - how can we learn where knowledge is if not with God ?

If we find this out and seek it all the rest will follow, because God is our strength. He helps us understand by helping us to right vision, to see clearly with the eyes of goodness.

All things come from God and all things lead to God.

Wisdom, knowledge, truth help us to see and know and find life and light and that is ultimately where we will find peace.

Peace will also bring us to life because peace comes from God and therefore helps us to live in God.

Jesus says in the New Testament " I am the Life, the Truth and the Way"(John 14:6). This all becomes visible when we learn where knowledge is, for it lies in the Heart of Love and flows from the Holy Trinity and is fulfilled by living in them : Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We will always then be guided by light and filled with peace not of the world. We will always be able to find the way because it lies with Christ - the doorway to the Father and the Spirit, who is released in our lives so that we too may have life and live it to the full.

What a blessing then is knowledge
When we discover it resides in God.
May we continue to grow in
knowledge and learn all we need
 to know to live in God. Amen.

a photo of a purple crocus Seventeenth Day of Lent
"After this I will pour out my spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters should prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams and your young men see visions "
Joel 3

The Spirit of God is poured out on all mankind. This was the gift given to us all by Christ's death and Resurrection.

Christ himself says that he must die and then ascend so that the Spirit will come.

We are indeed greatly blessed.

The power of the Spirit is with us and it is as God says - people prophesy and see visions. Healing, hope and joy are ours. Life is given to us through this power. The power of the Trinity working together has wrought an immense blessing not previously available so freely in the world before the coming of Christ.

Christ brings hope and life, light and power - the Spirit blesses us all.Praise God indeed.

How blessed we are to receive the Spirit, to hear God speaking to us, to listen to his voice and to see the vision of goodness that God is. We are blessed indeed.

Let us shout for joy
All things are possible through
the Trinity
All things are possible with
Love and Mercy
The Spirit brings great gifts
let us shout
Come Holy Spirit
Come in Power and Love.
Amen.

a photo of the early morning sun on a cottage wall Sixteenth Day of Lent
"Let us set ourselves to know God; that he will come is as certain as the dawn, his judgement will rise like the light, he will come to us as showers come. "
Hosea 6

To know God is a choice we make. We must decide to move towards him, to get to know him.

God is a certainty - he is absolute - as the dawn. We can know and trust that he will come if we set our feet to the path to know him. We can rely on him and his right judgement.

The certainty of this reading is a comfort. We can trust in God. This knowledge is borne of great faith and belief.

As we come to God and rely on him , so we know that we can rely on him.

He is like the light that comes each morning at dawn, certain and sure. And when the dawn light comes we can see more clearly. We are blessed by his light and that light renews our life.

As the rain falls and refreshes us, so the Lord our God will refresh us and we can grow and be blessed by His light and His living water, which is the Son and the Spirit.

Let us then choose to know God and ask for his blessings, his wisdom and his grace, of the Son and the Holy Spirit to come to us and live in us.

Praise God indeed
for his faithfulness,
even though we may feel
lost we can
rely on God for he is
faithful forever.
Amen.

a photo of yellow blossom reflected on a bird bath Fifteenth Day of Lent
"Brood ing on my anguish and affliction is gall and wormwood. My spirit ponders it continually and sicks within me "
Lamentations 23:20

When we focus on the distress and anguish we have about ourselves it brings a sour taste that even makes the spirit low in us.

It is good to acknowledge if you have done something wrong or if there is something about yourself you do not like too much, but it is essential not to dwell on it and be pulled further down by it. Otherwise it becomes larger than it is and everything goes downhill. Nothing here is seen with true eyes. The good things are forgotten or not even seen.

Christ in his fullness bids us carry our crosses yet this is not the interpretation - to dwell in our own pains and anguish.

No it is a call to transformation, hope and forgiveness. A call to be transfigured and go beyond. We have to acknowledge and let go. For to follow Christ is to let light in and see our goodness. To let goodness into all the parts of ourselves we may not like and to bring healing and love to touch them.

When Christ is with us, all can be transformed into goodness. Mercy is not only possible but a reality and sometimes mercy starts with ourselves, so that we do not get stuck in the myre of bitter gall and wormwood !

Christ blesses us and renews all so that we can look upon ourselves and the world with new eyes- eyes of kindness, eyes of love and hope is our banner. Praise God indeed.

 Let us not dwell on the
bad then,
but pray for light and
goodness to bless and
transform us.
Let us pray to see only
goodness and truth.

a photo of the  sun shining through a purple crocus Fourteenth Day of Lent
"God of Truth you hate those who serve worthless idols but I put my trust in Yahweh , I will exhault and rejoice in your love ! "
Psalm 31

Again and again we return to the Truth of God - that he is Love; the emphasis here is on truth and trust.

Putting trust in false idols is of no use. It does not build relationship with God. There is no aliveness of relationship here. Only by placing our trust in the living God can we know with all certainty that we are safe and sound because we are loved.

Those who know God know they are loved and joy abounds from them. Praise then comes naturally because as we focus on Truth and feel God's love so we give thanks and praise for all good things that flow to us. We see more clearly, we are given the gifts of discernment and wisdom to know what is True and what is false.

And as we grow in our relationship of trust in God, so we grow in love in our lives and are blessed by love. We become more able to love and see rightly the path ahead.

We do not need to rely on false Gods. God alone suffices.

Lord in you we trust
Help us grow strong in your love
and always follow the path 
of truth. Amen.

a photo of the morning sun on a country road Thirteenth Day of Lent
"When you seek Him he lets you find him; when you desert him he deserts you. "
Chronicles 15.3

We need to pray desperately hard when we are spiritually attacked or struggling with ourselves, when God feels far away.

Pray that we will not desert God, but trust that no matter how far away we feel ,that we do not make the choice to let go of goodness, to let go of God who is love. For to be deserted by God would be pain unimaginable and the depths of despair and anguish.

That is why we need to be aware of the trickery of evil which whispers bad thoughts and tries to direct us away from Truth and Life. For if we choose to abandon God then evil can walk right in and this must be the anguish of Judas who could not choose love because of his despair.

If we choose to shut God out so it will seem God has abandoned us for He cannot work in us if we do not let Him in. He cannot save us if we will not be saved.

Therefore let us pray during every trial to be delivered from evil - this is the meaning and the promise of the Lord’s prayer. Christ is with us in every trauma, in every depth of despair to bring us safe passage through and back to God the Father. This is why Christ came, that we would not be abandoned even if the way felt impossible.

Christ lights the darkness and takes fear and unlove away with the truth of His being. He fulfills the Law, He brings love and compassion, mercy and goodness to the fore. He says I will not abandon you, seek me.

It is seeking that is our choice.

Let us then call out to God
in our desperate need that we do not feel so
overwhelmed that we abandon
his path of love; for He is with us. Amen.

a photo of the sun shining through a yellow cricus in a clay pot Twelfth Day of Lent
"You must make yourselves holy, for I am Yahweh your God "
Leviticus

How do we make ourselves holy ?

This is the question ?

Perhaps we are made holy through our relationship with God. As we grow in right understanding with Him so we find healing and love filtering into all the places that feel unholy within us.

Perhaps we are ashamed to come to God, perhaps guilt is persecuting us over past actions or wrong thoughts. Asking for healing, asking for forgiveness, asking for God to lead and guide us, these are some of the ways we can hopefully make ourselves holy - by listening out for God, by hearing His Word, by asking for mercy and being merciful in turn.

We must not forget that we cannot make ourselves holy in the absence of God in our lives, because Holiness is of God.

This then seems a call to acknowledge God in our lives and to move towards Him, to not be afraid or ashamed, but to remember that God is good and His love knows no bounds. A call to holiness then is perhaps a call to love - to love and be loved. To say yes to God and then to trust that your life will be blessed and become holy as you journey with Him.

This then is the call for Lent.
Let us journey together with God.
Let us take a step closer.
Let our lives be filled with holiness
which flows from the love of God 
who is with us.
Amen.

a photo of the sun shining through Hazel catkins Eleventh Day of Lent
There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me "Son of Man can these bones live ?" I said "You knew, Lord Yahweh". He said "Prophesy over these bones. Say "Dry bones hear the word of Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh says this to these bones : I am now going to make the breath enter you and you will live."
Ezekiel 37 : 1-6

This reading reminds us that nothing is impossible to God - for with God all things are possible. It helps us to see that we need God for He brings us to life.

Whatever part of ourselves feels old and dried up, dead and without life, that part can be touched by God, breathed into and brought to life again. We must therefore be encouraged, especially if we struggle with aspects of ourselves that seem not to be alive with the spirit ; parts of ourselves that cannot find joy, feel unable to serve God, lack the energy to grow and change. It reminds us that God is our life and our strength and we can rely on Him to bring about newness of life and energy. He can and will renew us with His Spirit.

And when we feel fully alive, we will be alive with God’s Spirit - joy indeed. And what will we not be able to do then ?

Therefore this is a message of hope and joy - a call to renewal in the life of God.

Let us sing, dance and shout praise for the power and possibility 
God brings to us. 
Let us be renewed in His Spirit
and serve Him anew. Amen

a photo of yellow forsythia flowers against a blue sky Tenth Day of Lent
"They chanted praise and thanksgiving to Yahweh. For he is good, for his love is everlasting. And all the people shouted aloud the praises of Yahweh, since the foundation of the temple had now been laid. "
Ezra 3 : 11

Praise and thanksgiving are essential in our spiritual life. Praise and thanksgiving bring us closer to God. They lift us into joy and they help us to focus on God’s goodness and His power.

They remind us of God’s goodness and are especially helpful when things are not going well ,as well as when we are grateful or just want acknowledge the goodness of God in our life.

Praising aloud can take many forms, we may praise in tongues and in song - always the focus takes us away from our small selves to the bounty of God. Singing praise lifts us nearer to God, nearer to heaven and brings us closer to His angels who sing songs of love and praise and are constantly in God’s presence. Shouting aloud our thanks and our praise lifts us up. We feel lighter, happier, joyful, restored and strengthened knowing God is with us.

It is good to give thanks for all the many blessings of the day, blessings that come from God in our lives. When we start thanking God we discover more and more how much we have to thank Him for. We appreciate alll the things we take for granted, we see God working in ways we may not have been presently aware of.

Prayer of praise and thanksgiving then is always a wonderful thing in our lives because we find spiritual cleansing, upliftment, renewal. We come close to God and see things more clearly. We become more aware of how much love there is available to us. In every moment how much we are loved and how amazing it is that God does love us.

Praise God indeed for 
all the many wonders He works in our midst.
Praise and thank God indeed !
Amen .

a photo of a yellow daffodil growing through a wooden bench Ninth Day of Lent
Judas said to his men "Do not be afraid of their numbers, and do not think of their attack. Remember how our ancestors were delivered at the Red Sea when Pharoah was pursuing them with force. And now let us implore heaven to be kind to us and remember his covenant with our ancestors and to destroy this enemy confronting us today”; then all the nations will know for certain that here is one who saves and delivers Israel."
1 Maccabees 4: 8-11

Lent often is a time of great difficulty and struggle, when evil seems to do its best to attack us. It is important then at every turn to turn to God and implore his help. Fear can often mask the way to God. Fear can make you feel small and alone especially when evil seems to attack from all sides. It is at such times that we must remember God’s promise to be with us and save us.

And more than this. He sent His only begotten Son into the world to make sure for certain that we would be saved. The Lord’s Prayer clearly asks for deliverance from evil and as such is a powerful force for protection against evil, uttered by Our Lord Himself.

We also have our own Guardian Angels to keep us safe and guide us, give us safe passage through the world. The Archangel Michael is also a most powerful protector and one to help us and save us through God’s good grace. Let us remember then when evil comes calling to put on the true armour of God and to call upon God’s Holy name and ask the assistance from all the angels and saints.

Then we can know that we are never alone; that God will deliver us from all evil and His Light and goodness shine in the darkness and nothing can stop this.

We can give praise and glory to God for every outcome held in love. This is God’s victory - that .he sent His only begotten son to triumph over all evil. Therefore if we stay close to Him we are safe and we are secure.

Let us remember God’s goodness
Let us remember we are safe from
all evil
because we are held in His Power and His Love 
and Christ has triumphed for
ever and ever against all evil.
Amen.

a photo of the sun shining through a group of crocus by a blue pot Eighth Day of Lent
Cush became the father of Nimrod who was the first pontentate on earth. He was a mighty hunter in the eyes of Yahweh hence the saying "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter in the eyes of Yahweh."
Genesis 10 : 8-10

And more than this Yahweh watched him and saw what he did and esteemed him. And the people knew that he was seen by Yahweh and acknowledged . Thus all were aware of God.

How much more was He involved with His own Son then who came down to dwell amongst us and serve the Lord. This was / is a kingdom far greater than that of Nimrod.

This reading is about right relationship with God and acknowledgment of this relationship. It tells us that God is watching over us. It tells us that we are important and that we are esteemed in God’s eyes.

Nimrod was a mighty hunter - what role does God ask of us ? How can we serve Him fully and more than that, how can we live mightily in God’s eyes ?

Jesus is perhaps the way to answer this question. For He is a humble servant who dies on the Cross in order to bring us all life. Nimrod’s kingdom was on earth whereas Christ’s kingdom is heaven and earth , for all are united by His saving grace.

Perhaps this Lent we can seek our own path to serve God more fully. Let it be the path of love and humility inspired by Jesus and loved by God His Father.

Let us serve Him mightly
by our humility and service 
to others. For what is a good King but a
servant who cares for all 
And is honoured by God? Amen 

a photo of the sun shining through a yellow daffodil against a blue sky Seventh Day of Lent
" Solomon’s prayer for the people . Hear the entreaty of your servant and of Israel your people as they pray in this place. From heaven where your dwelling is, hear and as you hear, forgive. Be always watchful for the entreaty of your servant and of your people Israel, always hearing them when they call to you. "
1 Kings 30/52

Always we must ask our God for forgiveness and especially during Lent this is a time to ask for forgiveness.

And when we call to Him we know that He will hear us - for He is all mercy and all forgiving. This is such a wonderful aspect of God - that we can be forgiven.

And forgiveness brings us freedom, freedom to be at peace, to be healed, to love and be loved. Solomon in all his wisdom knew how essential it is that we ask for and find forgiveness. Both are important and even more so is our need to be heard when we ask. How wonderful and amazing that God hears us, that He is listening to us and that He cares and is able to forgive us.

How important then it is to try and act accordingly...

...to listen to those who call to us and ask our forgiveness, however small the voice, may we be listening out for the request and may we too be able to find the mercy that leads to freedom and healing for us all. Amen.

a photo of the sun shining through a red flower Sixth Day of Lent
" Lord, Lord King and master of all things, everything is subject to your power and there is no one who can withstand you; you will save Israel. "
Esther 4 17 : 6-17

This is really a prayer of praise to God acknowledging His greatness and His power. When things are difficult it is a great help to praise and worship God because it helps us remember His power and His faithfulnesss to us.

It is wonderful to remember always that none is more powerful than God, therefore evil cannot triumph. When evil threatens us we need to call on God’s Holy Name to remind us of His Truth and to know that the power of Goodness is triumphant. This is fulfilled in the Gospels by the coming of Christ when He takes all sin upon Himself and even death itself and holds it all in His love and mercy that all may be saved and have life. Praise God indeed.

It is clear that God’s will is to save and save He will when we call upon Him especially in faith and trust.

God’s will is always love and mercy. What a comfort that His will is always to save each one of us. What a comfort to envision the Good Shepherd who saves all His sheep and will not leave one to stray without going after it to save it.

Always again and again, we see the amazing way Jesus Christ fulfils the message of the Old Testament by a more personal way - the way of the Son of Man. The Living God comes to be with us and opens up new meaning, shows ever more wonderfully the fulfilment of the Word of Yahweh spoken in the Old Testament.

What joy we must have when
we understand that God
loves us and wants us
to be safe with Him.
Glory to God indeed.

a photo of a yellow crocus in the icy grass Fifth Day of Lent
" Say to him Yahweh the God of the Hebrews has sent me to say : Let my people go, to offer up worship in the wilderness. "
Exodus 7: 16

Sometimes we are sent by God to speak for Him. It is not always easy to speak up, to say God’s name and to stand firm by His requests/commands.

Yet this is what as Christians we are also asked to do - to speak for God - to speak His Truth. This then is a message of boldness. Be bold for God. Speak the truth with confidence and do not be afraid.

God wanted His people to worship Him in the desert. He wanted them to be free to worship. He wanted them to be unbound from slavery. How can we become unbound ? What enslaves us ? From what do we need to be free in order to worship God ?

In the desert there is hardship, there is emptiness, there is silence. Here then we become totally open to God. We become reliant upon His goodness and mercy, we rely upon Him to speak to us and lead us. It is here that we can hear Him clearly and rely on Him totally. This is where trust and faith grow and expand. This is where we become alive. This is where we worship God and find Him truly with us.

So no matter how hard the journey through Lent (and life) we can know that God has called us, that He wants us to be reliant upon Him and He will hear us most clearly. And when things are difficult, for it is not always easy in such a hard and barren wilderness, we can turn to God in prayer and praise and His will be done. And that will is always love and mercy.

Therefore do not be afraid to enter into the wilderness. Be not afraid of freedom but rely on the bounty of God who longs for you to be with Him and trust Him. Amen !

He will lead us. He will guide us.
He will hear us when we call
for He has called us to worship.
Let us give glory to God then. Amen.

a photo of a yellow crocus in the morning sunlight Fourth Day of Lent
" Do not turn to idols, and cast no Gods of metal. "
Leviticus 19:4

We do not need false idols. We have the true presence of the living God. This is very clear. I am Yahweh your God - present and available. You need nothing else.

It is too easy to turn away to make the things which seem important more important than God, because an idol is visible to the naked eye. It is something to touch or hold on, use as a substitute. God though is here and present with us. We need nothing else only this awareness. This leads us to Trust, to Faith. This leads us to goodness.

Let us then turn to God who is :"I am", as Christ says in the New Testament, because "I am" is with us new in every moment and leads us to heaven.

May we find peace in our hearts as we come towards the living God this Lent. Let us reject all false idols and focus our spiritual eyes on the true Presence of the One who is God and loves us all. Amen.

And more than this, Yahweh Himself says I am your God. He makes it a personal relationship. He offers Himself to us too. How amazing is that ?

What more could we possibly want ?

a photo of a statue of a young woman in prayer Third Day of Lent
" Now the boy Samuel was ministering to Yahweh in the presence of Eli; it was rare for Yahweh to speak in those days : visions were uncommon. One day it happens that Eli was lying down in his room. His eyes were growing dim; he could no longer see. The lamps of God had not yet gone out and Samuel was lying in the Sanctuary of Yahweh where the ark of God was, when Yahweh called him Samuel, Samuel. He answered Here I am "
1 Samuel

How often does God call to us ? How often do we pass the tabernacle and know that God is calling us ?

We can live near God and even do his will, even minister him and not necessarily know that is what we are doing. We are good, yet we do not know that the source of that goodness is God. God therefore calls to us. He wants us to know him better. He wants us to draw close.

Perhaps we are not open to listening to God. Perhaps we think he does not speak, that visions are rare, like in the days of Samuel. Yet listen, especially in the Sanctuary and you will hear him call you. You can trust that voice of God, for God will always speak the truth.

So especially when you are close to God, when you are in his presence, when you draw close to his Tabernacle, where Christ lays calling to you, listen and know it is he. Amen.

Let your heart respond with joy that he is calling you. And indeed answer with love and faith and all your days will be blessed.

Come listen to God and especially this Lent let us listen intently to his call and draw closer.

For he speaks indeed and calls us by our names.

a photo of two purple and yellow crocuses Second Day of Lent
" Moses when he heard this threw himself face downwards on the ground. Then he said to Korah and all his followers; Tomorrow morning Yahweh will reveal who he is, who is the consecrated man that he will allow to come near him. The one whom he allows to come near is the one whom he has chosen. "
Numbers 16:4

Moses throws himself on the floor. How humble and trusting, how freeing this action is. This is the action of one who sees.He knows the greatness of God.

Yet what is truly lovely and comforting is to know that God allows near the one who he has chosen. And we are all chosen, because Christ chooses us, as he affirms " you did not choose me, no I chose you" John 15:16

Always the seeds of the New Testament are to be found in the Old Testament.

Christ is visible when looked for with the eyes of Spirit. We are all bid to come close to God. We all have the gift of life waiting to be received.

What an amazing gift beyond words and joy to know that God consecrates us all by His beloved Son's actions and presence and allows us all to be one with the Father and the Son through the power of the Trinity.

Let us all then step closer to God to know by God's grace that we are chosen and we are loved.

Praise God indeed.

a photo of newly germinated seedlings First Day of Lent
" For Yahweh says this to the House of Israel : Seek me and you shall live"
Amos 5

This is a reading full of promise, full of hope. It is a foretelling of Christ in the world, for Christ will bring life to all.

Yet first we must seek him

The choice is ours. God speaks to us. He gifts us this promise of life if only we seek him.

And Lent is the perfect time to journey deep into seeking God. And as we seek, so we shall find, for this is promised by Christ himself in the Gospels.

And what greater gift will we find than the gift of life, which is fulfiled and given freely through the path of seeking. As we seek we grow in understanding of the way to life. As we seek God we find Jesus , his Son, waiting with outstretched arms to love us and heal us and give us the Light of Life.

He leads us on a mystery entering ever more deeply into relationship with the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As we move towards and through the Passion and Resurrection , life is more and more truly revealed to us.

What a gift we receive by choosing to say Yes to God's offer. All we need do is seek.

a photo of the setting sun behind trees Ash Wednesday
" Tobit replied : Can I ever be happy again? I am a blind man. I no longer see the light of heaven; I am sunk in darkness like the dead who see the light no more. I am a man no longer alive : I hear men speak but cannot see them. The angel said : take comfort, before long God will heal you. take comfort"
Tobit 5 : 12-14

Can we ever be happy if we cannot see the light ? The light of God. Cut off from God's light we are limited, our perceptions and knowledge are limited.

We need to see the light in order to see the truth

Happiness comes then from trusting in the light and from following God. God will always bless us and help us if we trust in him.

The angel promises healing. The angel calls for courage in the face of darkness.

perhaps this then is the meaning of the reading. let us never accept a life where god's light does not shine, yet if darkness seems to obscure our view, then is the time for courage. Courage begets hope and hope begets trust. Let us always trust that we will hold steadfastly to trust in God's healing power; in the possibilities we cannot always see.

God will always heal us. God has given us an angel to guide and protect us. God's angel gives us courage to say "Yes. I will. "

Trust in the Lord and I will be healed by the mercy and love of God. Amen.

Let us always seek the light even if it is temporarily obscured. The inner light of God is always there.

a photo of two yellow daffodils Shrove Tuesday
"This people honours me only with lip service, while their hearts are far from me. The worship they make me is worthless the doctrines they teach are only human regulations."
Mark 1

This reading leads us into the beginning of Lent. It bids us look at our worship. It is a challenge to look with the eyes of Truth and see first of all is there any truth in this message for myself ? It is easy to talk about God, to say His name and to appear to observe ritual and obey the law...

....yet we need to examine our hearts to see if we have really allowed Christ to enter in, whether we have allowed love to take seed and grow in us - whether our worship is congruent and true to the living Light of the world or whether we pay more lip service - whether we are like the Pharisees who want to look good for outer appearance or whether we are living the truth of Christ Jesus with us ?

How close have we allowed Jesus to be ? Have we let Him in - can we bear to let Him and do we dare to take the risk - the risk of Him seeing us and the fear that He will find us wanting,mean, petty, shallow, insincere or weak, inadequate, grieving, lost, angry, hurt ?

Yet if we dare to let Him in. Even if He finds these things hidden within us, yet still He will make His home with us and He will let His light shine on the truth of our loveliness. For that is the truth - at the centre we are lovely, for He has made us so, and His light will shine on all hurt and all untruth until it is vanished and love alone remains.

Then our worship will be true and then we too will shine in the world for Him, for He will be close indeed and nothing will separate us from that Love. Joy indeed. Praise God for the journey of Lent.

Let us dare to look and see the Truth - that we are loved by Him and we are lovely !

Spirit Song

No Closer Can I Come Than This

a photograph of Linda lying in bed

(Words and Music © Linda Crowhurst)

Breakthrough Prayer Page


a photo of a roaring log fire, with a message saying please join us every Saturday night as we pray the Breakthrough Prayer for people with ME

Light for the World

the green cover of Light for the World

Our book on praying the Mysteries of Light.

Beyond Normal Prayer

the green cover of Beyond Normal Prayer

Our book on opening up a spiritual
pathway through suffering.