It’s been a while since I asked: "How’s your Lent going?”. Probably, if I’m being totally honest myself, it’s a question I’d rather not dwell on so much, because in my own experience it’s been a bit of a slog. A combination of poorer health than usual, four recent funerals that I’ve been involved in, and a growing cloud of uncertainty over the future of the Manchester based work that I head up for Westcott House, have not exactly lightened my spirits. Add to that, a challenging Lenten Bible series: “Facing the cross, finding ourselves” including sessions such as facing ‘injustice’, 'disloyalty and desertion’, 'pain and violence’ and ‘silence and desolation’ which have not brought much joviality with them! Even nature seems to have conspired agains us this year, with spring time seemingly still as far away as ever, with any flowers that bloomed, now wilting through the battering the recent snow and frost gave them.
Yet the Easter hope lies before us, and I am drawn to the 2nd letter to the Corinthians where in chapter 4 Paul writes concerning his own circumstances;
'We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” v8
Indeed in the previous verse, together with an acknowledgement of the fragility of life, there is a recognition within our respective jars of clay, God’s treasure lies within. As Holy week rapidly approaches, I pray that we would be able to cherish that love which God holds for each one of us, as individuals, and as a fellowship together.