Dear Friends and Neighbours,
March is a peculiar month in a number of ways. We have the beginning of Lent, the build up to Jesus' Passion and Cross, and in the same month we have Annunciation of Jesus birth, the build up to Christmas. In Lent we try to have a look at being a bit more careful with how we indulge ourselves in an effort to see if we can be more generous, with our time if not our possessions. And in the midst of all of this we have great celebrations like St Patrick's day and St David's day too. But then life is full of similar conundrums and I guess that's what makes it fun.
One of the lovely things about the month, in this the most wonderful part of God's creation, is the beginning of Spring. Officially beginning on the 20th of March we pray that the weather joins in. One of the things that my younger colleagues at 'God College' had to get their heads around is the fact that the Vicar has to remain apolitical. They cannot take sides. Irritatingly I was called to jury service which, while a privilege in so many respects, provided me with the following conundrum. The people in the dock were also likely to be patients of mine at the local hospital. How would any of us like to be cared for by someone that has just judged us?
It gets to the heart of the Lord's Prayer too. Forgive us O Lord, just as we have forgiven everyone that has ever upset us in life! On occasions this can seem an impossible task, and on our own it may well be. But we don't have to look too far to find examples of extreme forgiveness. South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is one that readily springs to mind. A victim of the notorious Angel of Death at Auschwitz Concentration Camp declared that she had discovered that she had the power to forgive. No one could give her that power and no one could take it away. It was all hers, to use in any way she wished. Amazing.
There has been a lot said, and a lot of that with great passion, on Brexit. We have prayed about this for some time at Church each week, and we have simply prayed that God's will be done. That prayer isn't limited to the position that we find ourselves in as a nation today, it is also a prayer for what follows. In other words the result of the decisions that have been made concerning Brexit. It accompanies another prayer that is said whenever we take the offering. Lord, we thank you for these gifts and we pray that You will bless them and us exceedingly abundantly, that we may learn to be just as generous. The subtext to this prayer is that we will always have enough to live and enough to give, not only in terms of material wealth but in our love, our hospitality and in our forgiveness of others. So I continue to pray that you will be both loved and encouraged every step of every day.
With best wishes and prayers
If you have anything that you would like our village prayer group to pray for please telephone 790088 or