Rev Helen’s blog – April 2020

Dear Friends

I greet you in difficult times with a message of hope.

I was reminded by my grandson in a hilarious fashion about Lent and temptation. He was videoed telling his interpretation of Lent when Jesus went to the desert. The metaphor is similar to our current situation…

He described Jesus (or cheesus) eating a huge sandwich and chocolate before he went into the desert where he had no food. There is a sense where we have enjoyed so many good things and now we are forced into a wilderness time. Lent and denial are really coming into focus for many of us. Jesus was being prepared for ministry and spent time relying on God to survive. If nothing else we are challenged in this way at present. We all have a variety of emotions flooding through our minds but the call is to not be afraid and to trust in God’s provision.

The end of my grandson’s tale was he came out of the desert and ate another huge sandwich and an even bigger egg! We will come out the other end, whether we are changed as a nation as a result we do not yet know . However may we prepare for blessings untold and be positive. There is no doubt people will pull together and there have already been many acts of kindness that can be celebrated.

In the words of Jesus…

I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. (John 14:27) Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) “Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them.

Stay safe every blessing.   Rev Helen x

Rev Helen’s blog – March 2020

As I write this I am preparing to go away on holiday a retreat from the busyness of my role as Minister and feeling somewhat guilty as I have the opportunity to travel to a warm place for sunshine, sea, sand and restoration particularly as my Sabbatical begins in April. Everyone I know tells me I should not feel in the least bit remorseful but actually it does not come easy when I know so many struggle. However on reflection our February lectionary readings have guided us on what it means to be disciples and how to grow too. We have learned from the sermon on the mount about the things we are blessed by. These are things that the world does not understand or appreciate and as church we often struggle to but it came to me the importance of staying salty so we can be salt of the earth that feeds others. The call to all of us is to be salt.            

Did you know that in Jesus’s day when Matthew wrote his gospel people were paid their salary in salt.  In Greek salt was and has become in English the root word of salary.  People were paid in salt so could it be that through the things we do for Jesus help to keep us salty? We also know as in this sermon on the mount Jesus rook his disciples up a mountain and Jesus himself often withdrew to pray.

This teaches us that our discipleship offers us a number of things to do and there has to be a whole variety of ways in which we stay close to God in order we may fulfil the tasks to which we are called.

We must do this as individuals and a community of faith. This will involve rest, study, reflection, prayer, conversation, the necessity to be accountable to each other and the necessity of watching over one another in love. Thank you for watching over me and enabling me to take time out.

We must not only be salt to the world but also season ourselves.

So the challenge for Lent is to engage in things that season you and then church will be a community of faith that rejoices in unusual upside down blessings and is the city on the hill in a dark world that shines and encourages life in all its colours.