This week marks the beginning of Lent.
Details of our Lent Courses based on themes drawn from the musical ‘Hamilton’ are in the poster here (just click to download):
Please let the leaders know if you would like to join in from next week (21 Feb). The course book ‘The Room where it Happens’ by Rose Hudson Wilkin is available on Kindle (£3.50) or there are now some copies of the book @ £6.99 available in each church.
This year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day coincide on 14 February. To begin with this seems like an unhappy collision - and yet, the more you think about it, LOVE is at the heart of both.
Ash Wednesday is a wonderful time to come to church to say sorry while remembering that we are loved everlastingly. Held secure in God's love, we gain courage to see and admit our faults - maybe even laugh at ourselves. Walking around on Ash Wednesday with the sign of Christ's cross on our foreheads could make us feel a bit conspicuous. Or, instead, we could wear it with a grin on our face and a glow in our hearts, as we recall how Christ 'took all my guilt and shame, when he died and rose again'.
That we are lovable despite our brokenness is at the heart of George Herbert’s enduring poem called Love III. The poem encourages those with a tendency to beat themselves up to stop navel-gazing and fix their eyes on the God of Love in Christ who welcomes them to sit and eat with him.
SUNDAY WORSHIP 11th February 2024: The Sunday before Lent: Readings: 2 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9
Said Holy Communion
Sung Holy Communion
Messy Muddy Church - Theme: Fire
Generation Youth Group
WORSHIP and EVENTS IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Celtic Evening Prayer
Ash Wednesday Eucharist
Sung Holy Communion with baptism
LOVE by George Herbert ( country parson and poet 1593-1633)
Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’
‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
So I did sit and eat.
Meeting around God's table, brings us into contact with people we may dislike, disagree with or disapprove of. Yet, we are all forgiven sinners in need of God's grace. Wherever you are on 14th February, enjoy the Love-Feasts of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day in equal measure.
Diane (curate at All Saints and St. Mary’s Churches Fishponds)