Dear Parish Family,
“… blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.”
Throughout the Sundays of Epiphany we have looked at how God made the message of salvation manifest to the world. We began with God’s sign in the star which lead the Magi to the Christ child. We heard of God’s desire to celebrate love in this world in Jesus’s first miracle in Cana of Galilee (a reflection of the celebration of the Kingdom of God; John 2:1ff). Jesus, reading from the prophet Isaiah, proclaimed how you would see and experience the salvation of God (Lk 4:17). Incidentally, the very same quote Jesus gave to John’s disciple to reassure John in prison that He was God’s Messiah. In Luke’s narrative this quote was followed by why some cannot see or hear the wonders of God’s offer of redemption which is for all people (Lk 4:22ff). These are but a few of the examples of how God’s message of salvation was and continues to be made manifest to all who would see, hear and believe it.
Returning to Matthew 13 we read of what we are to do in response to seeing and hearing this proclamation.
“… understand with their hearts and turn again, and I (God) … heal them.” Matt. 13:15
Having seen and heard, now we begin the process of understanding with our hearts. Welcome to the “process” of Lent. The old phrase of “faith seeking understanding” is our Lenten journey. You have been called by God to enter into a faith journey. A journey you see in your participation in the faith community. In the regular celebration of that faith in God’s proclamation of salvation. Yet, we live in an ever-changing world, with ever changing lives. Therefore, we need to constantly “hear” again the proclamation and apply new insights to new experience so that what we see (and show the world) is a fully relevant Gospel proclamation. The faith we learned in Sunday School is not going to be deep and grounded enough to get us through things like cancer or grief. We need to be constantly learning, renewing and applying our faith to experience the healing God has promised. This is the process we are invited to enter into during the 40 days of Lent in a focused manner. Whether through personal devotion, study or prayer or group events, we all need take the time to enhance our ability to fully live the journey of faith God has called us to.
May God bless you and fill you with all joy and peace in believing.
The Reverend Canon David Warren