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St John the Evangelist Walton

Magazine

From Rev’d Anita

Dear All,

A Happy New Year to you all.  Christmas already seems a long time ago as we head into 2018.  There are now small signs of Spring with snowdrops appearing and the evenings getting (slightly) lighter.  This year Easter is on 1st April so it won’t be long until the church is preparing for Lent and Ash Wednesday.

This year in February Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day share the same date! It seems an odd mix, yet there is a link: love!

For Christians, Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is about learning how to love God more, as we give God more space in our lives. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ experience in the wilderness which can be found in Luke 4:1-13.

Jesus was led into the desert where He was tempted but demonstrated the path of real love. Firstly, Jesus is tempted to turn stones into bread. Love gets to the heart of human need, not just satisfying physical desires. The devil tempts Jesus to worship him, but Jesus shows us that worshipping God is the beginning of love and results in sacrificial service to meet the needs of others. Finally, Jesus is tempted to put God to the test, by jumping off the Temple.  Jesus’ way was for real love to change hearts by practical love and care.

During Lent we are reminded how to live out the love of God in practice, as we follow Jesus in the way of the cross. 

Valentine was Christ’s follower, committed to sharing God’s love with others. We know little about him, except that he was a priest who lived in the 3rd Century AD and was martyred on February 14th. Emperor Claudius felt that soldiers in the Roman Army were distracted from their duty by their wives, and so attempted to outlaw marriage. It is believed that Valentine married couples in secret. He also helped Christians in Rome during times of persecution. He demonstrated the importance of showing real love in action.

In trying to understand the meaning of her revelations from God, Julian of Norwich found: ‘What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning.’ 

As we near the ‘wedding season’ I am reminded of words from the wedding service Marriage is a way of life made holy by God, Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty … it enriches society and strengthens community!   Whenever people truly love others; partners, family, neighbours or strangers then I believe our society is enriched and our community strengthened. 

In 2018 may we all learn how to love more!

                                                                   With best wishes                                

                                                                                                          Anita

 

   
 

 


All Together

Christmas Concert Review

First Steps (Carers and tots group)

Interesting titbits

Notices

Prayer pages February & March 2018

Reminder of 'Open Door' distribution dates

Some words about Jesus

What is it?