Our Spiritual Journey

Dear Friends,

With Christmas well and truly in the rear-view mirror, our minds look ahead to what this year will bring. We expect a General Election here in our nation and know that elections are also planned in many other countries around the world this year, most significantly in the USA. What will the year bring, we wonder. Could we dare to hope for some peaceful resolutions to the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza? Will leaders of the nations be elected who will govern with integrity, compassion and a desire to bring stability to our broken world? There is much to contemplate, much to pray for.
The season of Lent will begin halfway through February. Lent is a time for reflection, an opportunity to simplify things and to take stock. Jesus withdrew for an extended period before he began his ministry and came face to face with the darkest powers and with the angels of heaven. He prepared himself for the road ahead and found his consolation in intimacy with God. We, too, are called to go on such a journey – to face our demons, to be ministered to by angels and to learn the discipline of keeping our hearts firmly focused on God. There is much that will pull us away and tempt us to do otherwise.

This year, we as a church family are going to spend the season of Lent contemplating our spiritual journey.
St Paul wrote to the church in Rome:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The spiritual life is one of discipline, of deliberate decision and of commitment. It’s a life where we don’t just try to do the things Jesus would have done, but where we find ourselves wanting to do them. We don’t just go around trying to do the right things, we become the right sort of person, moulded in the image of Christ. There are lots of tools which can help us with this such as reading the Bible, praying, fellowship with one another, solitude, serving, celebrating. Practices like this are important, not because they prove how spiritual we are, or because we ought to do them. They are important because God can use them to lead us into life, life in all its fullness. I don’t know about you, but ‘life in all its fullness’ sounds very appealing! It’s the kind of life God designed and intended for us when he made us. So, as we, in various ways through our church life, explore these things throughout Lent and beyond, may God reach deeply into our souls and remind us of his deepest desire for us…

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. Ephesians 2 v4-5