Take Heart, Hold on
calendar_todayThu 11th February - 4:42pm
2020 was not the year many of us hoped it would be; many are left hurt, broken and lacking in hope. As we enter 2021, these feelings don’t miraculously disappear. The vaccine offers hope, but we also find ourselves in another lockdown with no idea of when life might get back to whatever normal is, and hear the news headlines of 100,000 deaths. It’s easy to live in a cloud of despair.
In just a few weeks’ time we will enter Lent, a time and journey of self-reflection, in which we are led to the events of Easter. I am reminded of the conversation Jesus has with his disciples before he is betrayed and arrested. It is a conversation that they don’t fully understand at the time, but at the end of this conversation Jesus says:
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
There is much that we still struggle to understand, even though we are in the fortunate position of knowing what it is that Jesus was speaking of to his confused disciples. We are a people of the resurrection he is talking about.
In our shattered and broken world and lives, we have the hope that Jesus has overcome the challenges of this world.
This year Lent may not be a time when you feel able to spend lots of time in self-reflection, that might be just a bit too painful on top of everything else. You might also not feel like giving something up; for we have already given so much up over the last 12 months.
Perhaps, just asking yourself one question at the beginning of each day might be the right Lenten discipline for you this year. May I suggest if you take this approach, that question is:
“How can I hold on today?”. Don’t just ask the question though, and receive a response of radio silence. Ask this question in prayer to God, and be expectant that he will respond and offer hope and comfort for that day and the days ahead.
This year our Lent Course will be very different, it is designed to be a time of refreshment and encouragement to help us hold on. We will be using Charlie Makesy’s book, The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse to reflect on. Join me at 7.30pm each Tuesday, starting on 23rd February, for 6 weeks, on Zoom. (Meeting ID: 829 8188 1008 Passcode: 797658)
There will also be an Ash Wednesday service on Facebook Live at 7pm on Wednesday 17th February 2021.