View from the Vicarage …..
Lent begins this month! It begins on Ash Wednesday, March6th after ShroveTuesday. Now you all know how it goes...we eat pancakes to use up all our rich and fatty foods to begin a season of fasting as we journey towards Easter. But this is not, as it sometimes seems to be billed, meant as an opportunity to lose weight or get fit to improve ourselves physically! Lent is a time for spiritual discipline and improvement that may, or may not, include elements of fasting. Iam concentrating on Prayer this Lent. I have recently received a new prayer journal and corresponding stickertree to mark off the time I will take to pray each day. It has daily prompts; to give thanks, to think of those who are hungry, to pray for those people I find difficult... The many prayer prompts in my journal, relating to those in need, are not unconnected to the Lent course that will be running in the Parish Room. It starts with a film on Friday 8th March; I, Daniel Blake. It is the story of a joiner who, due to sudden illhealth, has to fall on state support for the first time in his life. It charts his struggles with the benefits system and difficulties in being heard, as he strives to maintain his integrity and dignity in the world of welfare bureaucracy. On Monday evenings during Lent we have an opportunity to explore the themes in the film and consider the implications for us as Christians in a society where these sorts of experiences lie not far from our doors. Do please come and join us. These are not easy issues to wrestle with but are hugely important if we are to lift our eyes to the truth of the hardship faced around us.
Lent is a good time to deal with all sorts of things that challenge us, it is a preparatory time for the season of celebration and joy of Easter. And we have much to celebrate this Easter, including the establishment of a fresh expression of church and supporting the families of all those coming to baptism in our churches over the Easter period. There are lots of them!
Speaking of Baptism I know many people in and around Urswick have noticed that the font that was stored under the belltower stairs has moved, at last, to its new position outside by the porch. I hope that the flourishing of the spring flowers it houses there, brings joy and colour to all those who pass by. For Christians it provides a ready symbol, as all our fonts do, placed by the doors of our churches, to remember our baptism promises and to go out as part of the body of Christ, sharing his love and light in our world.
May you be blessed, Lucie
Yours in Christ,
Rev Lucie Lunn, The Vicarage, Great Urswick