Here’s the link to the March 2020 magazine for the Benefice of Walmersley Road:
There are thoughts about Lent and Mothering Sunday plus more on the upcoming 250th anniversary celebrations for St John’s. Also lots of news and views from our various groups as well as this letter from our Reader Emeritus Margery Spencer…
Out of my comfort zone!
Many of you will know that my major hobby is painting. I am no David Hockney but do get pleasure from the creative process. Every Monday I am to be found in the church hall alongside friends painting whatever I like, usually a landscape, with very little pressure and the time passes very quickly.
On Friday mornings I am a member of another Art group which has a tutor who sets us specific tasks. This means tackling something which may not have been a first choice of subject. Recently she asked us to make a picture with string, any or many types of string of a design of our choosing.
Now as an eight year old I was never any good at “Cut and Stick”. I am no better now that I am in my eighties. I managed to stick string to the table, my fingers together and pieces in totally the wrong place in my picture. But I persevered and the final result was a study in not fifty shades of grey but ten shades of brown. Alan suggested it was a good design for a carpet and one of my friends made that telling comment “Well it’s different!”
I had definitely been taken out of my comfort zone.
Hungry and alone
Jesus went out of his comfort zone when he went into the wilderness, leaving behind friends and family and all that was familiar in his everyday life. He was hungry and alone and whilst there he was tempted three times by the devil. Once he was asked to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger, then asked to throw himself from the highest point of the temple so that the angels might save him. Both of these he refused to do and then the devil offered to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if he would bow down and worship him. Jesus declined saying “Away from me. Satan! For it is written; worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Matthew 4v 1-11)
Jesus did not take the easy option to relieve his hunger, to demonstrate the power of God or to acquire all the kingdoms of the world. He remained faithful to his Father.
A time to remember
Lent is a time when we remember the temptation of Jesus and prepare ourselves to remember his passion and resurrection. We often do this by denying ourselves something, going without chocolate, wine or some other treat.
Although these acts may be a good discipline perhaps we should consider going outside our comfort zone in a more positive way. So, not denying ourselves but doing something extra: praying more, studying the bible more, attending Lent groups. Perhaps taking steps to help others, putting our faith more into practice.
When I had finished my string picture there was a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Perhaps at the end of Lent, we may come to a greater understanding of Christ’s sacrifice for each of us and experience the Easter celebration with a renewed sense of joy.
Yours in Christ, Margery
For the February 2020 magazine please follow this link. Paper copies of the March 2020 magazine are available at the back of both churches. We’d love to see you!