A reflection on Lent

A reflection on Lent

By: Archdeacon May Croft

Over the last few years I have really enjoyed the Lent studies written from within the Diocese by a team led by Wayne Kirkland. The books offer six studies for small groups, family studies and five thought provoking films for “A
Night at the Movies”.  I like the flexibility of being able to join a discussion group and/or join others for the “Night at the Movies”, or if you have children there’s a family study and suitable all-age movies. So there’s something for everyone. But there’s also something special about feeling part of this diocesan family, knowing that this Lent material is shared right across the Diocese.

At the time of writing, we here in the Parish of St Matthew’s, Masterton, have watched three movies so far set around the theme of being called and then sent. The movies pick up stories of real people in history who have been called by God to follow into uncharted territory to serve in amazing, life transforming ways. So far, Martin Luther King Jnr, Mother Teresa and Irena Sandler who was responsible for rescuing 2,500 Jewish children from certain death. What is noticeable is that all these followers of Jesus started out as just ordinary people like you and I who heard God’s call and acted on it.

Each week I have asked myself “would I be prepared to do what they did… to risk my life and the lives of others to stand up for what is right and just in terms of human life?”.  Now I know that not all of us are called to do what these amazing people did but I have noticed that for all of them, their serving started off in small ways. It was their faithfulness, stick-ability, love for those they served and their belief that this was what they were called to do that encouraged others to join the cause. It seems no one was more surprised than they were that they became leaders of a movement with a cause and when the praise came, all of them pushed the attention away from themselves and to God.

That all of these people started out ordinary tells me that we are all capable of being extraordinary in our own way.  One of the wonderful things about coming to lead ministry in a new place is discovering what goes on here that just happens. I was speechless (and that doesn’t happen often) when I discovered Denise in our parish cooking cheerfully for all
those darling old people, and to find she’s been at it for years supported by a willing team of helpers. That’s being called and sent.  Today I found out about a lady named Barbara who is organising a morning tea for the women
attending the Sunday 8am service so they can get to know each other better.  That’s being called and sent.  And then those wonderful people who serve our rest homes by taking the bread and wine of communion to the residents so faithfully. You can tell they really love that ministry. That’s being called and sent.

I know there’s probably lots of ministries I haven’t stumbled across yet… Wouldn’t it be just beautiful if everyone who belongs to our diocese took up something they believed God had called them to do?! Imagine the transformation that would bring to people’s lives!

So my prayer is that throughout this Lenten journey, you have been challenged and encouraged to hear God’s
call and even in a small way allow yourself to be sent.

With Easter Blessings,
May