CLERGY TEAM

   

Rector


The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

 jmath@btinternet.com

Associate Rector


The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 852843
revstephenbroadie@
gmail.com

Assistant Priest


The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624
wsmullenger@
idnetfreemail.co.uk

 

March Leader

Oscar Wilde famously once said, ‘I can resist anything but temptation.’

This month sees the beginning of Lent; a time in the life of the church when we are invited to indulge in a little introspection, to take stock of where we are, of what is happening to us and the areas of our life that might need attention and change. Thankfully we do not have to do this alone, for not only do we observe Lent with others in our church and community, but we have the grace of God to strengthen and guide us and the word of God to teach us the way of love, which always leads to our inner peace and wholeness.

As we review our lives during Lent, it will not be long before we encounter the many conflicts and temptations within and without. I am sure that for a number of people in modern society the concept of temptation is considered somewhat outdated, associated with unhealthy repression and outmoded religious beliefs. Yet temptation doesn’t seem to go away. We may not believe that there is an angel and a devil perched on our respective shoulders at various times, but no one can deny that life throws up times of intense struggle and inner conflict between different choices and possibilities, which feel both alluring and wrong at the same time. Temptations can come with bright neon lights blazing or they can be as subtle as an evening breeze.

Lent is a time when we can acknowledge this pressure and therefore Lent invites us to focus on the things that will help us to resolve our conflicts and resist our temptations. Through prayer, fasting, generosity, self awareness, repentance and God’s grace we can let go of habits and dependencies that either are, or could be, damaging to us and others. Through prayer we draw close to God and try to refocus our living on the things that really matter, realising that we are not immune from temptation, or death for that matter, and that we all have the potential to be the authors of our own undoing.

Jesus himself was tempted and wrestled with the voices of false suggestion, as we do and must. Jesus was able to battle with his temptations because he valued his loving relationship with God. He also saw his temptations and the source of them for who and what they really were. In other words, know God and know your enemy.

I will leave you with an illustration from the ‘Wild West.’ On the morning of December 21st 1866 a US Army Colonel, Henry Carrington, operating out of Fort Kearny (Wyoming) sent 90 soldiers to guard a wagon train that was transporting recently felled timber. When the wagon train came under attack from Native Americans a relief party of 81 men was sent under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William Fetterman. Carrington had learnt the hard way how to fight the Indian wars and was clear that restraint and caution should be exercised at all times. His orders to Fetterman were as follows, ‘Under no circumstances was the relief party to “pursue over the ridge, that is Lodge Trail Ridge.” A number of decoys including the legendary Crazy Horse were used to tempt Fetterman into a pursuit over the ridge, a temptation that he simply could not resist. Once over the ridge Fetterman found himself confronted by 1000 Native Americans led by Red Cloud himself. Within 40 minutes everyone under Fettermans command, including Fetterman was killed.

Matthew


FAITH AND WORSHIP

 

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