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Minister’s March Letter

Dear Friends,

       As I write this letter, I cannot help but be aware of terrible things happening in the world right now. It is a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began and the war shows no sign of ending soon. There has also been the most devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. Add to this the executions of protesters in Iran, the various mass shootings in different places, the ongoing strike action in this country and the pressures of the rising costs of living ….. things are not looking good.  And we cannot nor should we look for silver linings in these exceptionally dark clouds. They are unequivocally bad.

 So, what can faith say to this? As we move into the season of Lent, we are reminded of Jesus’ time in a bleak desert place, vulnerable to all kinds of self-doubt, despair and temptation. What did he say?   (Matthew 4, verses 1-7)

First he was tempted by the thought of a quick fix. Turn stones into bread. Grab at something to make himself feel better in a bleak place.

Second he was tempted by the thought of attention-seeking. Do something dramatic to make people notice him in his bleak place.

Third, he was tempted by the thought of seizing power in the hopes of getting the world out of its bleak place.  Seizing power would have meant compromising some of his moral standards but was it not worth it for the greater good?  

All of this sounds worth considering but, as we consider, let us take note of how many of the current crises in our world are due to quick-fixing, attention seeking and power-grabbing in the first place…..     Jesus turned his face, mind and body to God- it is the Word of God which gives life; it is faith in God which gets you through a bad time; it is worship of God and respect for God which gives you true power.   And if this sounds impossibly naïve, let us remember the tremendous depths of power Jesus demonstrated simply because he was filled with God.

 Yes, our world needs peace-makers, rescue workers, aid agencies, compassionate world leaders, realistic economists, conservationists and huge investments in physical and mental health care. But it is also crying out for people of faith, who will look first and foremost to God for guidance, strength and integrity.  

 As we join in sharing our own “Pilgrim’s Progress” through the season of Lent, look to God and make space to notice where God is leading you, how God is inspiring you, whom God is giving you to share your pilgrimage. And may your pilgrimage become a source of hope and peace in our troubled world.

With love and good wishes to you all, 


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