From the Vicar, March 2016
From The Vicar, Revd Paul Cawthorne
Is it spring yet? It’s been such a mild winter, the flowers certainly seem to think it is. From cowslips in Drayton churchyard in December to daffodils on the Baldons roadside in January, the seasons seem to be a bit topsy-turvy. It can be nice when something arrives earlier than we were expecting, but it’s rather disconcerting and invites reflection.
In this Lenten season we are invited to spend time reflecting on questions of our own existence and wider society's strengths and vulnerabilities. It has been seen as a late winter thing to do, after all the fun and feasting of Christmas, before the rush of spring traditionally led us out of the house into the flurry of activities in field and garden.
Such reflection can be pleasant musing when life seems to be going well and we have a kind of contentment with our lot, but can be difficult when things take an unexpected disorientating turn or the world seems a lonely or painful place, as it does for most people at some stage of the journey. Part of the reflection process is trying to bring those together - opening our hearts to others' situations when we feel a bit complacent, daring to think in terms of trust and faith in God and other people when sorrow or suffering preoccupy us.
Through Lent we walk with Jesus towards Jerusalem, then along the Via Dolorosa to Jesus' total self-giving on the cross to give redemption and hope to our glorious but broken world. It’s not an easy walk but it seems a vital one. It is a walk on which we can see the flowers and the people at different times, both in all their beauty and vulnerability. It is a walk sometimes on stormy days when we feel lonely and deeply uncertain of the way, sometimes in breezy sunlight with company we can enjoy and take clear bearings from.
May your walk bring you closer to the mystery of God's love for each one of us and to God's sharing of blessings with all fellow-travellers.
With best wishes,