© 2013 Banbury Circuit - Reg Charity No:  1135376

Banbury Methodist Circuit
Pastoral Letter From The Latest Circuit Newsletter - Rev Chris Eddy

Dear Friends,

As March begins we have already begun our journey through Lent. This is the 6-week period that leads us to Good Friday and Easter. Lent is traditionally a time of Penitence, a time for fasting and prayer. During Lent we take time to set aside the demands of our busy lives, to spend time with God.

After his baptism by John in the river Jordan, Jesus withdrew into the wilderness. At his baptism he was filled with the Spirit and God's voice declared "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased". Jesus then withdrew into the wilderness to work out just what it will mean that he is the Son of God. He resists the Devil's temptations to use his power for his own satisfaction. He resists the temptation to go in for earthly power and riches. He resists the temptation to show off God's power for self-glory. Then he returns from the wilderness "full of the Holy Spirit", ready to begin his earthly ministry.

So for us, Lent is a time to draw aside, to be with God. It is a time for us to reflect on where we are in our walk with God. It is a time when we can ask God, is there some new area of ministry, some new work you are calling me to?

On my last Sabbatical I spent a week at Taizé. I found it a wonderful place, immersed in the presence of God. It was here that I had an experience of deep penitence. We had been studying John the Baptist's call to repent. Then as I approached the chapel for mid-day prayers I was overcome by the Spirit. During that service tears rolled down my cheeks as God showed me areas where I had let him down. It was a chastening experience. But I came out of that worship feeling I had been scrubbed clean. I was now ready for the work God wanted me to do.

This Lent I encourage you to take time to draw back from your normal routine and spend time alone with God. Give God time to help you reflect on where you are in your walk with him. Ask him to renew you, to fill you anew with his Spirit. Then you will be ready for the work he has for you.

  God Bless,  Chris


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