The First Week of Lent 2021
Our Sunday Mass at 9:30am for the time being is “live streamed” on Facebook and YouTube, but will cease when Church re-opens on March 7th.
We have Zoom Coffee Morning each Sunday at 11:00AM. The sign in code will be sent out by email to all who wish to participate. This will end when our Churches go back to public worship on March 7th.
Lent comes around each year and presents us with its usual challenge to take stock of our lives, to see more clearly what is in our hearts, and to discover what might be calling us out of our comfort zones. It is a time for personal as well as group reflection, a time for entering into ‘the wilderness’ and grappling with the mysteries of life, as well as a time of preparation for Easter when we renew our baptismal vows and celebrate the greatest mysteries of our faith.
The readings from Genesis and 1 Peter evoke the destructive yet life-giving waters of the great flood of old. They invite us to reflect on our baptism as a participation in God’s covenant with all of creation, with ‘every living creature of every kind’. The reading from 1 Peter reminds us of God’s will to ‘save’ and of God’s triumph over the forces that oppose God’s ways of being in the world.
The four verses that make up today’s gospel present a little drama that is played out in several ‘worlds’: the celestial, the human, the animal and the ‘wilderness’ worlds. Jesus is, as usual, the main character.
The Spirit, Satan, God and God’s angels, members of God’s heavenly court, represent the celestial world. The ‘wild beasts’ interact with the ‘angels’ in the wilderness. Numbers feature symbolically, as do settings and characters. God’s Spirit has featured in the previous scene: Jesus is the chosen one of God on whom God’s Spirit rests, the one sent to be a light to the peoples. Now the Spirit impels Jesus into the wilderness, the place of beginnings for Israel. Satan, a member of God’s heavenly court, tests (a better translation of the Greek than ‘tempts’) him.
As we begin our Lenten journey, we are looking forward to Holy Week to Easter. The good news is that the PCC have agreed to re-open for public worship on Sunday March 7th. We fully appreciate that some people will still feel uneasy about returning to Church, but others are more than keen. We want to impress on all our congregation that our Church will be cleaned before and after each service, and that the law still requires face coverings to be worn by all, and that social distancing is still vital when in Church. If we observe these rules, we believe we can return safely to our worship for this most powerful of seasons in the Church’s year.
We re-open for Sunday Mass from March 7th. We will also move to the later time of 10:00AM.
Zoom Lent course on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm open to all and based on a Lent Course entitled “By His Wounds”. People can order course booklet in advance, but it would not be required as I would publish questions etc. The course will run for 5 weeks. This year we are being joined by our friends from St Andrew’s in Deal and St Peter’s in Folkestone.
By His Wounds: Lenten Study Guide. Lenten Study Guide by Tony Castle available on Amazon and Eden.