From the Chaplain
Taking Lent seriously- it’s good for us, it’s good for others.
Every year the Lenten Season begins with Ash Wednesday and by the Sunday gospel reading describing Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Mark’s gospel is characteristically concise. It describes Jesus’ baptism by John, the ‘heavens being torn asunder’ and Jesus being moved by the Holy Spirit to withdraw to the wilderness. For 40 days Jesus is tempted by the very things that tempt all people. Jesus emerges from the time of contemplation and discernment, ready to begin the task of bringing God’s heavenly kingdom to earth.
Many people are involved in Lenten like activities, even people who are not seemingly religious. FebFast is the most recent pursuit to come to my attention. People deliberately forgo a range of ‘temptations’, for example alcohol, social media, sugar, junk food or smoking to raise money and awareness about addiction, especially addiction as it affects vulnerable youth. ‘Giving up’ something during February/Lent has become a new normal and quite different from the mechanist, self-serving, self-righteous giving up of something that I can remember many people engaging with when I was a child.
The impression I get is that, while the giving up a vice or pleasure is in one way about improving an individual’s physical and mental health, it has an additional consequence of improving spiritual health. Doing something out of concern for others, even as it serves you, is good for growing and deepening relationships. In Lent, as we strive using a whole range of strategies to be healthier more connected people, we need to remember that Jesus’ teaching is calling us to improve our relationships with each other and God. It is not about not about unthinking acts of obedience or self-serving, self-righteous satisfaction.
Growing relationships takes a lot of spiritual work. It often requires us to change our minds, to think new thoughts. Love and kindness help shape how we change our minds. The teaching of Jesus transformed the world and continues to do so. That work is now ours to do. We are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven in our homes, our work, with our friends and the wider community. May we strive to be always be an outward sign of God’s love for the world.
In the name of God, creating, redeeming, sanctifying.
Providing gifts of food and op shop items for the Magdalene Centre continues to be a regular opportunity for us to do something kind. Donations can be brought to the Chapel Foyer. Basket and boxes have been labelled so that we can sort and care for your donations. Thank you for your ongoing generosity
Chaplaincy for 2018
Reverend Michael Lane will work with the whole school community. Michael is at Pulteney every school day and is available to conduct special services, such as baptism, weddings at other times.
I can be contacted at any time for any pastoral needs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 8216 5512, 0434 297 879 or contact the school office. Let me know if you have an interest in saying Morning Prayer together. Please feel invited to join this or any other service.