Dear Friends

I don’t know about you, but during Lent I personally feel quite a ‘surge’ of spirituality.  I know this word means different things to different people but for me it means I (try to) focus more on what I’m doing to be a ‘good’ Christian.  (Well I’m using rather a lot of brackets and ‘marks’ already!  Please forgive me).  In lent I try to make my prayers more focussed on the suffering of Christ, and what He went through, dying on the cross for our sins. 

However, whenever I start praying on a certain aspect I seem to always become distracted.  I’m not sure whether it’s because I’ve always been used to having lots of things on the go and juggling various roles and responsibilities, or whether I just have a ‘butterfly mind’ which means I flit from one thought to another – constantly!  This invariably makes me begin to contemplate other things……….so Jesus died for our sins.  Well I can honestly say I have done some sinning in my life from small ‘sins’, for example; ‘forgetting’ to return the pencil and tape measure at Ikea – “Thou shalt not steal”, to larger sins which have involved both verbal and active sinning (I’ll perhaps spare you those, I’ll save them for when I write my memoirs – ahem!).  But the outcome is still the same…… how do I stop?  Why, when I know all I know about what it tells me in the Bible (my Bible knowledge is far from extensive), do I continue to not be pure?  Why do I let myself down so much?  Why do I let God down so much?  I try my best but it still keeps on happening!  (In fact, why, when I have such good discipline in lent, does it not carry on all year round?)

We teach our young people the difference between right and wrong and give them strategies to cope with how to stand up to people who may not hold similar views, or who mock Christianity, yet I often feel we, ourselves, fail to be true and righteous.  However we have the knowledge that God grants us grace and mercy.  He, and He alone is our sole reason to be.

Those of us who were at Ravensthorpe a few weeks ago when Alan Evans led worship were treated to an excellent explanation of how, as humans, we can never be good enough to ‘earn’ our way into God’s good books.  BUT we can ask for forgiveness, and we know He forgives those who ask.

So….….what does this mean for me in lent? It means that I have to try even harder to walk the right path.  It means I have God the Father’s unconditional Love.  I have forgiveness if I truly confess my sins.  I know that when Jesus died for me, it was the greatest gift ever I’ve ever been given.

May I wish everyone a contemplative lent period and a most joyous Easter.

In Christ’s Love

Janet Virr

(Heckmondwike) 

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