First Word February 2024


This year Easter is relatively early, which means the church moves quickly from the season of Epiphany, where we consider all that was revealed to humanity in the Christ child, into Lent, the solemn season of preparation for Easter. Lent beings with Ash Wednesday where we recall our own mortality, and the call to make the most of the time we have to make real the loving purposes of God in a deeply troubled world. Lent is not meant to be a depressing time, but one in which we can truthfully face up to all that holds us back as individuals and as a world. As we look around today there is much to be concerned about, not least the dreadful upheavals in Palestine, Israel and the Ukraine, and the dangers facing so many countries brought about by division and intolerance, and leaders who seem not to value either peace, justice or truth. The message of Easter for which we are preparing is that the darkness will not win, and however dark times may seem there is always hope. For that hope to stand a chance change much come about, and as always that starts in every human heart, when we make a stand for what is good and just and true and reject all that isn’t. In a year when we world faces many major elections let us hope that this hope will be made known as people make that stand. Rr Richard