A Message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 22nd March 2014, 13:36

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: revamandacollinson@virginmedia.com

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HELLO THERE!
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So how are we all doing with our Lent promises? I cannot believe how many people I have heard on the TV, on the radio, in the shops all talking about what they have given up for Lent and yet many admitted that they don’t go to church … How strange, interesting but nevertheless strange for me to think that this very Christian festival has become a secular event – I have spent some time reflecting upon that. And that is what Lent is all about – it is an important time of reflection and prayer and not just as others would describe it, the 40 very long days of giving up something we love. However if you have given something up you are now over half way there! So keep going, don’t lose your nerve now.
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Whatever you have done, I hope this Lent has been a good, albeit challenging time for you (how many of you are making a note to NEVER AGAIN give up chocolate or alcohol!?) and I hope you have given yourselves some time, even if it was just a little time, to get off the crazy ride of normal life and make some space for yourselves, as well as God. In a world of immediacy – when you are frustrated within minutes if you cannot find the answer on the computer, get through to the right person on the telephone line, or know what is going on in a sports game or news bulletin at any time of the day or night, sitting, waiting and reflecting for 40 DAYS seems like an impossible task to do – we are too busy, we need to finish our list of things to do, we cannot sit and relax … there are also so many excuses for us to fill our days and to stop ourselves from ‘do’ing and start ‘be’ing.
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We are brilliant at making up excuses or blaming other people – when my boys were playing recently I heard a big crash and ran in to find some cars against a glass cabinet: I asked 3½-year-old Jacob who did this – he pointed at 2-year-old Samuel who subsequently pointed to his toy Buzz Lightyear! Brilliant. But it doesn’t stop with youngsters, ‘denial’ carries on all the way through to old age when we start blaming other people for whispering and not talking properly (it certainly wouldn’t be due to our increasing deafness!) And I am confident this is not a new fad, in fact I am sure the guards who were outside Jesus’ tomb thought of some good ones to avoid taking the blame for the disappearance of Jesus’ body – I was putting another denarius in the chariot meter, you told us to secure the tomb as best as we know how. We did! May I suggest an assessment of our current training program or perhaps even Hey! What’d you expect? Did you tell us we were guarding the Son of God? — NO!
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Whether we like it or not that is what Christians are encouraged to do during Lent – to stop making excuses, start looking at their own lives and see where they could improve and spend some quality time with God, so that when Easter arrives we can start afresh. And as the festival heralds hope for all people through the death of Jesus on the cross, even the season rings in a new change. We are all blessed with the enchanting beauty of Spring and the majesty of the Easter season. Easter is the time when earth wakes up from a deep slumber and heralds the beginning of new life with the re-emergence of animals and flowers but more importantly it is the time to FEEL the real blessings of God and thank him for his eternal gift that he has conferred on us as Easter, and that is the message of hope and by golly we all need that message in some way, shape or form at the moment. There are many dark places in our country and around the world where people find themselves feeling isolated and alone, longing for a ray of light to pierce the darkness and new possibilities to emerge. Jesus gave us hope, peace and eternal life through his suffering – we need to ensure his death was not in vain and make sure we are grateful for what we have and pass on hope and peace to those in our community that do not have them and are in desperate need of them … this can cost nothing and yet can make such a difference to someone.
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I pray that the sun shines not only in the sky and thus in our eyes but also in all our hearts this Easter time so that we are full of joy and truly able to enjoy God’s gifts and creation around us.
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Wishing you all a blessed Easter!
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Rev’d Amanda Collinson

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