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Letters from Tim

Dear Friends,

How are you going to mark Lent this year? I thought about giving up zoom meetings! As we have given up so much of normal life already, maybe keeping chocolate on the shopping list is a necessary comfort in these hard times.

I am sure we have reflected on the priorities of living, lifestyles and community throughout the pandemic. I am sure that we have been pondering the deeper things of injustice and poverty too, as many struggle to make ends meet. It is as if Lent has been with us for over a year. In the ups and downs of three lockdowns, our behaviour and attitudes have changed so that we look out for and try to protect the most vulnerable, we have been forced to reassess much of what we have taken for granted.

The tremendous achievement of the vaccination roll out, brings much hope, and the speculation about timetables to lift restrictions abounds. The difference between being in Lent and emerging from it is important. Lent is a time for reflection and preparation. As the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis to experience a new life, so the prospect of emerging from a long pandemic lent experience beckons – but only when the time is right.

In both our churches we have the chance to explore ‘Caring for Creation’ in our Lent courses. How we emerge from that experience is unknown. However, there is a long term impact and significance; global warming affects us all, but it disproportionately affects the poorest communities the most. Similarly, the challenges to our consumerist society based on profit and competition, which are deeply rooted in the fabric of our way of life are not sustainable or desirable.

Whichever way we emerge from all of this, are we willing to change, or be changed? Or, do we grit our teeth and endure, only to return to how things were before? The chrysalis is about transformation into something totally new which sounds like the way of Jesus to me.

Peace,  Tim

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