A few thoughts for Lent and Easter. 
The questions can be used for our own meditation.
 Hebrews 13: v5.

For God has said “I will never leave you, I will never abandon you”. 
Let us be bold, then, and say: “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid”.

Do I often feel abandoned by God? What first drew me into God? What made that experience so special and meaningful? Can I get renewed energy from the memory?
Walking barefoot on the earth, we touch the soil and soul of our being, our rootedness with the Creator, our connection to all things living and growing. We confess that we have too often separated ourselves from the richness of the earth. God, in your mercy, forgive us the security and the distance we make, and root us once more in your love. Walk barefoot with us, God, that in your company, life may be restored. Amen

Philippians 2:vv2-4

… I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind….and look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own
Do I know what the interests of my family, friends, people from my Branch are? Do I listen enough to what people say?

Your love, Lord, is cross -shaped. In a world of power politics, intrigue and military occupation, 

You allowed yourself to be sucked down by the schemes of others. You appeared so weak, so vulnerable, so forsaken.
It makes us wonder. Your love turned things round the wrong way, creating astounding possibilities. You saw that people and situations can be changed, not by force and fear, but by your willingness to give yourself completely, and by your invitation for us to do the same. Amen

James 4: v8

Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands and purify your hearts….humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.
How close do I feel the presence of God? Can I make one practical thing in my daily routine to feel His presence more fully?
God of arid lands and grassy plains, in ancient times you encountered your people in the desert. May we, this Lent, enter this desert where, stripped of all the trappings of modern life, we learn to depend on You alone. Help us to a new awareness of your presence and then bring us to the joys of Easter and the living water of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen

Matthew 6: v7

When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them, Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.
How personal and private are my prayers? How could I change the way I pray to make it more personal?
There is a God at whose feet we may sit and gathered there is love. There is a quiet space for safe encounters and wiser understanding for our learning, a robe for the touching of our hand to share healing grace from the body of Christ. We will sit at the feet of our God. Amen

A short remainder for our busy, diverse days

Unconfined God You are for the whole of life
Not just for the sacred hours You are for the whole of life
Not just for the sanctified spaces You are for the whole of life
Not just for the right thinkers You are for the whole of life
Not just for the acceptable folk. You are for the whole of life
Not just for the enjoyable parts. You are for the whole of life
Not just for the serious issues You are for the whole of life

Help us to worship you in spirit and in truth today, in, but not confined to, this place and space.

cherry blossom