Below is the Rector’s letter from the March magazine, you will find the rest of the magazine here or you can pick up a copy in the church.
In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step within yourselves and be still.
Wait upon God and feel his good presence; this will carry you through your day’s business.
William Penn (1644-1718)
As Lent begins we are reminded once more that we need to make time in our lives for God and for our spiritual health; we need to make space from the noise that accompanies us day in and day out, those noises we have control over like the radio and those we don’t like traffic noise; we need to be still and become aware of God’s presence amidst the other things that crowd in for our attention. Finding that place of stillness and refreshment can and will help us through our days and give us peace in our hearts and minds when we lay down to rest at night.
Waiting upon God is a spiritual practice that all can benefit from, psalm 40 has been sung for generation upon generation, it declares not only the benefits of waiting upon God – God hears our cry – but also the essential nature of it – God is our firm foundation and without our lives rooted firmly in God we risk sinking into the miry bog.
I waited patiently for the Lord; who inclined to me and heard my cry.
God drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
This Lent evening prayer will be said in church Sunday – Thursday at 6pm, a time to be still, to connect with God and let God replant our feet firmly on the Rock which is Jesus. A time to feel God’s good presence and to let it give us peace for the night ahead, and be our guide for the following day. If you are not able to come along to Evening Prayer but would like to join with others in the church praying at that time, copies of the service for use in your home can be made available. Or you may wish to pray in the custom which you usually use ending with the prayer, below, which will be used in the church.
God of compassion, through your Son Jesus Christ you reconciled your people to yourself. Following his example of prayer and seeking time in your presence; pour upon us the Holy Spirit so that we may seek your presence throughout our lives and serve one another in holy love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus not only went into the wilderness for 40 days at the beginning of his ministry, a time we recall with our season of Lent, but we can also read in the Gospels how he often sought time with God. Even Jesus needed to be still and wait on God’s presence when confronted by the pressures of this life, even Jesus needed those oases of calm and enrichment. None of us are immune in that need, Lent gives us the opportunity to give our spiritual practices a healthcheck, ensuring that they are still providing us with quality time in God’s presence; the kind which can best help us in our daily lives.
May our seeking for God’s presence this Lent, enrich our common life and shared spiritual journey, as it enriches us personally in our life and faith, so we may grow ever closer to God and to each other.