Reverend Carol Hayden is the vicar at Christ Church Walmsley and St Andrew’s Bromley Cross
A guest message from the Team Rector
First days of Lent
Our human mortality and frailty is held in the embrace of the Cross – which perfectly frames the messages of Lent – as we look within at ourselves, as we face up and reflect on the message of the Cross, and as we face outwards, concerned, with God, for the world around us and particularly for those at risk, alone and in need.
In this picture, the cross is both the foreground and the background and I like this as an image of how we should live out our faith – Christ should be the centre and focus, and God’s truths should be our foundation and basis. And this gives us the freedoms to live and make our choices, for God does not compel us.
Lent is often that time to develop our disciplines and, as we know, that is demanding but necessary, if we want to get fitter; however when the whole of the last year has been restricted and more difficult, it may be that the key message for us this Lent, is to be kind to ourselves, and kind to others – to let kindness flourish and warm the land. Kindness is not a weak or slushy concept – it is the outworking of mercy and grace – it is offering something good to another person, the affirming and support of another person, the helping another person feel better about the day, about their tasks, about themselves.
A discipline of kindness is a delicate skill to master and one that we need to use if it is to stay fresh. Kindness only wells out of us if there is an inner reservoir, and it will only well out of us if that reservoir is replenished. And lo – we are back to our logo, we face-up to discover the love of God for us, we look-within to harness that love and make it real and we face-outwards to share it with others.
Without all three kindness will dry-up or turn in, or turn sour.
In the knowledge of God’s love for us and commitment to us, seen and known on the Cross, may we share the love, the grace, the mercy of God, kindness with others – that way we will make a difference for others this Lent and we too will find ourselves changed.
~Canon Peter Reiss
21 February 2021
You can contact Canon Peter Reiss via the Turton Moorland Team website