February 2021

7th February                       2 before Lent                       John 1 v.1 – 9

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  There came a man who was sent from God. His name was John.  He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that through him everyone might believe.  He himself was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. The true Light who gives light to every man was coming into the world. 

The first 14 verses of John's Gospel tell of the Nativity of Jesus but in a very different way from what can be read in Matthew and Luke. It tells of John the Baptist preparing the way for "The Light"  The word "light is used a lot in the fourth Gospel.  Light helps us to see more clearly, and when he describes Jesus as "the Light " we are reminded that Jesus showed us all clearly who God is.  Just as John the Baptist was sent to "bear witness of that light" so we, as Christians, have the responsibility of bearing witness to Jesus in our world. This has never been truer than it is now, when so many people find themselves in a dark place.

How can we show that Jesus continues to be a light in the world, whatever is happening around us?

 

14th February                      Sunday before Lent                 Mark 9 v. 2 – 9

After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There He was transfigured before them.  His clothes became radiantly white, brighter than any launderer on earth could bleach them.  And Elijah and Moses appeared before them, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  For they were all so terrified that Peter did not know what else to say. Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him!”   Suddenly, when they looked around, they saw no one with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus admonished them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 

As we read of Jesus' Transfiguration just before Lent, we hear a very special story.  Three of Jesus' disciples are privileged to see Jesus, not just as a Man but as Divine as well.  This dual nature of Jesus as being truly God as well as truly man is a difficult concept for us to grasp.  Lent is an opportunity for us to grow in our Christian faith and to discover who Jesus was when He was on earth, and who He continues to be for us as we draw closer and closer to Him in our daily lives.

What can we do this Lent to learn more about Jesus and to allow Him to take over more of our lives?

 

21st February                       Lent 1                                 Mark 1 v. 9 – 12

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, He saw the heavens breaking open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness,

Lent began on Wednesday.  It is the season of the year when we prepare to remember that great act of salvation when Jesus died to save us all from our sins ( Good Friday ) and then rose again from the dead ( Easter Day )  We need the six weeks of Lent to prepare to celebrate the greatest event in human history.  We shall not just be remembering mentally as a great part of history We try to prepare to take on board what it means to the extent that our lives will be changed for ever.  Lent, kept well is not easy and we read today that Jesus understands that.  He, too, was tempted to take the easy way out, just as we are.  He will stay with us, supporting our struggle because He has been there before us. The challenge with which God faces us is not easy and it will be with us for the rest of our lives on earth!

What can we do this Lent?  (Giving up chocolate is not enough!!)

 

28th February                           Lent 2                                   Mark 8 v. 34 –37

Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples, and He told them, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Jesus warned His followers that following Him will not be easy.  We must not be ashamed to be His followers and we shall have a cross to bear.  It will be something about the Christian life which will be very hard.  The cross which each of us has to bear will not be the same.  Different people struggle with different things which Jesus asks of us, because we are all made differently and have had different experiences in life.  He does, however, ask the same of  each of us  -  to love God and our fellow human beings as much as God loves us.

What do I find particularly hard about what Jesus asks of me?

Pray that we shall all be given the support of the Holy Spirit to carry our cross this Lent.

 

 




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