The not-the-Vicar’s Letter – February 2023

Following the recent retirement of our Priest we are fortunate to have Rev. Anne as one of the retired Priests looking after us during the Vacancy. The following post is a thought-provoking letter from her, which first appeared in the Parish Magazine.

Dear Friends

One of the little jobs I do for the diocese is Spiritual Direction. That means that I have 3 or 4 ladies (but they could be men) who come to see me about 3 or 4 times a year to reflect on where their spiritual life is at that moment and perhaps think of ways that they might improve their relationship with our Lord.

To build a relationship with anyone you have to work on it a bit taking into account the feelings and needs of the other person, joining with them in some of their favourite past times and so on. The same applies to our relationship with our Lord, we need to work on it a bit. Think about how Jesus himself might be feeling about our relationship with him. Are we ignoring him and his needs, are we talking to him often enough, how can we get to know him better?

The bible of course is the source of our knowledge about Jesus, reading the good book is how we get to know him and know him better. No matter how often you have heard of, or read, something about Jesus there is always the possibility of finding out something new, something you hadn’t seen until now. If you want to just make a start reading the bible try reading Mark’s Gospel the easiest to understand – very succinct and to the point.

That helps us to get to know him, but we need to communicate with him as well, he actually wants to hear from us, he wants to know what is giving us joy, or sorrow or anxiety. He wants us to ask him questions about the passage we have just read in the bible. Did you really say that, why did you say that to the Pharisees? So maybe treat your prayers like a telephone conversation with a close friend to whom you can say anything at all and they will always let you know the answer to your questions and always love you.

Another important way to get to know and speak to Jesus is to meet with other people who are doing the same as you, that may be in a Bible reading group such as we have in the Benefice, a Lent course, but especially when we meet together to worship him and receive Holy Communion. Jesus, when he instituted the sacrament, told his followers to do this as often as you eat it or drink it. How often do we do as he asked? In the service you hear and have the word of God expanded for you, you receive the body and blood that our Lord shed for you. You will be strengthened by all of that, the Holy Spirit within you will be topped up and you go home rejoicing in the Lord.

Three things then, 1; read the bible, 2; speak to Jesus in prayer, 3 join with others in worship, learning and to receive your Holy Communion.

May you be greatly blessed in your relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Love and blessing

Rev Anne

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