I’m writing this as I sit in the back of the car and my mum is driving down the motorway. I’ve had to use the satnav on my phone to get us to the motorway – calling out the directions from the back. We’ve been to visit my aunty in Stroud, which we do regularly, but they were doing roadworks so we had to go a different way to usual, thank goodness for phones to direct us through the winding roads of Gloucestershire!
When we used to go on holiday as children we would camp, before going to bed each night we would look at the millions of tourist pamphlets we’d picked up and have a family discussion about what we were going to do the next day, and inevitably there would be arguments! Once we’d decided, we’d play a game, me and my brother would go to bed, the next day we would go to the said place! For years I was convinced that my mum just knew every single road in the entirety of the UK, after all we always got to the place we had chosen. It wasn’t until I was older that I realised my parents stayed awake after we had gone to bed, and mum would look at the maps to work out where we going the next day. She prepared herself for the journey ahead, so that it would be easier.
This week we are thinking about preparing, preparing ourselves for the journey to the cross. Easter eggs were available on Boxing Day, but the real symbol of Easter, is the symbol of Christianity, it is the cross. I read recently that as Christians we celebrate Easter all year round, which we do by sharing communion, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection and the eternal life for all that that brings. The problem with something being every day is that it becomes ordinary, and yet ordinary is not something you can call the Easter story. It is EXTRAordinary. It is an extraordinary event in itself, but it also has an extraordinary effect on our lives, or can do if we choose to let it.
Therefore it is important to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter. People wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it, people wouldn’t sing at a concert within practising, whenever we do anything extraordinary we will prepare ourselves beforehand. Easter is no different. Our Christian walk is a journey, through the everyday journey we can sometimes get taken off track. Let’s think above it a gps system on a phone, if you take a wrong turn, or if there are roadworks, then it will recalibrate itself and get you back in track. It might take a bit longer, or not be as straightforward, but it will get you back on track. Let’s think of lent as our gps system, giving us a time to recalibrate and get back on track with our journey of faith.
I always used to associate Lent with a time of giving up chocolate, and therefore torture! That isn’t the purpose, the purpose of not using luxuries was to focus on God, to develop some of the essentials of a healthy and fruitful life with Christ. Therefore by the time you got to Easter, you were able to fully appreciate the enormity, the extraordinary event, of God becoming human, dying on a cross, and rising, so that we, may have forgiveness and eternal life.
So… that is what we are going to do… we are going to explore some key Christian disciplines over the following weeks, and it is my prayer that each one will help us to reflect on our own journey of faith. We are going to look at prayer, fasting, charity, confession, and rejoicing. Our thought for this week says
It’s a new week. God is doing a new thing. New doors. New breaks. New blessings; Prepare your mind; Enlarge your vision.
I hope you’re ready for this journey, it probably won’t be easy, after all they are called disciplines,but the best and most memorable journeys never are easy, Please share your experiences throughout. You can reply at the end of the blog or email Mrs Netherton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenge – think about those 5 disciplines of prayer, fasting, charity, confession and rejoicing, discuss what they mean to you now. Make a note, and see if that changes as we journey together.
Prayer – we thank you that we have opportunities to celebrate Easter everyday, but we pray that you help us to take this time in the lead up to Easter to recalibrate and get back in track with you. Give us the motivation to keep going, even when we find it difficult. Amen