Sisters and Brothers,
We thank God whose enabling, sustaining presence we have experienced for two months already in 2019.
On Wednesday 6th March we begin the Season of Lent when we once again, deliberately and solemnly, reflect on our Lord’s journey to the cross. We reflect on his temptations, the pressure and pain he endured in his resolve to do the Father’s will so that none need perish, but rather, that humans, the crown of his creation, can come to know, love and serve God. In choosing to love the God who so loved us that he gave us the love gift of Jesus Our Saviour, we decide to follow Jesus. Through this journey of Christian discipleship, we learn from Christ. In close company with our Lord, we find that we become increasingly like him. We grow into the likeness of God’s Son as his Spirit works in and through us. On this track, we become the best that we can ever be, continually growing in the new life in Christ.
So this Lent, as we ponder what it cost God to save us so that we might truly become God’s very own, we recommit ourselves to embrace the values which Jesus treasured so much that he willingly gave up his place of priority (as God) and took our place as humans, dying (as human) on the cross of Calvary. We can link these values in a summary theme- Sacrifice for love’s sake,
- For love’s sake. In God, love has the place of priority. In Lent, as always, let us remember that Jesus endured pain because of God’s love for us, and so resolve to love God, to love ourselves, and to love others with Jesus and the Holy Spirit guiding us to express God’s love in practical ways. If we reflect on the theme for this triennium, then this is the bottom line for demonstrating that we are “Grounded in Christ.”
- Sacrifice for love’s sake. Just as he was willing to sacrifice (to give up) so much that we might be better, so should we. Sacrifice is about self-denial and can be a willingness to let go of resources or privileges so that others can be helped. What we give up may not be inherently bad. We can give up what is good to make us and others better off. In terms of our theme, we can say that sacrifice makes our serving come alive, showing that we are, indeed, “Grounded in Christ.”
Self-denial is costly, yes; but it is always good for us when it comes to letting go of bad things. When it comes to the bad habits that we still hold on to, harmful practices we engage in, or material things that do not help our Christ likeness, then let us be prepared to give them up that we become more the children of God. So Lent is not just about giving up nice things which we may not need to. It is as good a time as any to cut off whatever does not work towards our spiritual or overall growth as persons.
This Lent then, let us be determined to sacrifice for love’s sake. Our words, actions and attitudes will reflect this intention. This means that we shall say, do and be what is loving and
We shall refrain from saying, doing and being what is unloving. We may give up what is good to build others up and we will certainly give up what is bad so that we will be more Christ like. And God who has journeyed with us thus far, will see us through to this end.
In God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade