Journeying through Lent

Dear Friends,

We are in the season of Lent, traditionally a time for living simply, reflecting, praying and reading the Bible. This is a time for us to prepare ourselves for the season of Easter and to remind ourselves of the hope we have in Christ. I can’t wait for Easter. Each year it is one of the highlights, gathering together with our church family, singing glorious hymns of resurrection and proclaiming once more that love has won and Christ has conquered. But of course, we mustn’t jump to the end of the story. To get to Easter, we must journey through Lent, we must experience Holy Week, we must walk to the cross.

In our current ‘Reasons to Believe’ series we have been asking some big questions, tackling some complex issues and equipping ourselves with truths about our faith. I was struck during our rather poignant zoom session on the subject of suffering recently by examples of how God works and ministers in times of darkness and pain. Easter itself is the ultimate example of hope in the midst of despair, of unquenchable light triumphing over darkness. I was reminded of this prayer, based on Psalm 139, which expresses inner thoughts that perhaps you and I can relate to well. Whatever you are going through at the moment, I pray that this Lenten season will be a time when you make space to allow God to speak. God speaks in so many ways when we are open to hearing him….

O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up.
You know when I am full of hope and enthusiasm,
you know when I am struggling to see a way forward.
You know when my faith is alive and buoyant,
you know when I am full of doubt and dread.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
You discern my thoughts from far away.
You know my thoughts often clash with one another,
that I am sometimes full of certainty,
sometimes full of disbelief.
At times full of trust, at times full of questions.
Sometimes caring, sometimes selfish.
And you know too that my mind wanders, sometimes visiting dark corners.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
You know me better than I know myself,
you see me in the darkness and the light,
and you understand, you care, and you long to lead me towards life.