All Saints Parish Newsletter 24th February 2017
Parish Email, 24th February, 2017
The weather over the last few days has gone from a balmy foretaste of spring, warm enough one day to go out with winter coats and scarves, and then the next lashed by the violence of storm Doris with its driving and devastating winds.
The week ahead in our worship takes us on something of a roller coaster ride, too. On Sunday we are led up the mountain with Peter, James and John to witness the Transfiguration of Jesus; that unveiling of the glory of both his divine being and of our human nature united with him. So in Sunday’s collect we pray that we may “be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory.”
Then just as the disciples were not allowed to remain on the mountain but were led down by Jesus to take the road to Jerusalem and to the cross, in the space of a few days, we are brought down to earthly reality, to our knees, in the liturgy of Ash Wednesday which begins the season of Lent and its journey to the cross.
That day reminds us, as our foreheads are marked with ash, that we are dust and to dust we shall return.
- It calls us to repentance, to “turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel,” not as an exercise in self-loathing, but so that in experiencing God’s mercy we might be freed from the sin which turns us in on ourselves and opened up to God and each other.
- It calls us to the bodily disciplines of fasting and abstinence, not because our physical nature is something to be despised and rejected, but because it is created in God’s likeness.
- It calls us to almsgiving, not as a grim and reluctant duty, “cold as charity,” but because it opens our hearts to share in the generosity of God.
- It calls us to prayer and meditation on the scriptures, not so that we might know more information about religion, but so that we may see more clearly that the transfiguration of our mortal nature lies not in the images of perfect physical beauty marketed to us, or in models of worldly power and success, but in the transformation of our lives and relationships.
So we pray:
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May we all enjoy a good Lent.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Alan Moses