March Letter from Mat

It has been a long time since the mood of the nation reflected Lenten prudence and solemnity. The credit crunch seems to have dampened much of our society. Even the shopping centres have an air of depression about them. (…or is that me having an air of depression about being in one!)

But is that what Lent is about? I know that part of Lent is about self denial, but that self denial of food or chocolate or alcohol or TV or time is not the end in itself. Lenten prudence is enabling ourselves to spend more time with God; intentionally allowing God space to transform and change us, helping us to become more like Christ. Most of the time many of us live life at such a pace that we don’t stay still for long enough to give God the chance to speak. So denial gives us the opportunity to be with God when our human Longings remind us that they are being denied. Lent is about seeking to grow in Christ.

Throughout Lent our series of Sunday and Wednesday services and events are designed to help with that growth. I hope and pray that Sunday morning’s series wit[ remind us what a joy and privilege it is to know, love and be loved by Jesus, that Sunday evening’s series will help us to develop disciplines to encourage our growth in Christ and that Wednesday evenings will give us practical tools to enable that growth. I am hopeful that together these events will inspire us to deepen our spirituality individually and corporately, but more than that, I pray that we will each increasingly learn what it means to love and be loved by God in Christ. The more Christ centred we become the more fruit will be borne and the more we will grow. Isn’t that what Jesus meant by some of his final words.

“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” John 15:4Open Link in New Window

God is moving in and through us at this time; we are growing by God’s grace. That is really exciting but I believe God wants to do so much more. We need to become increasingly Christ centred and Spirit inspired. Then the fruit will come in abundance.

Mat

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