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Ready for a journey?

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Last week we started the journey towards Easter in the season of Lent. It seems like just yesterday we were taking down the Christmas decorations and yet we now have to get ready for getting ready for Easter. It is an opportunity to do three key things;

  • Fasting – an opportunity to put others first and give up some of the luxuries in our lives. This may give us a chance to recognise how truly “blessed” we are by the basic things we have in our lives – food on our plates and a roof over our heads.
  • Almsgiving – making a sacrifice to give something to those less fortunate than we are. This could be close to our homes or supporting international charities.
  • Prayer – finding time to invest in our relationship with God. At times it is challenging to find time to pray or even finding the space to just stop and listen to God’s call and message for us.

A practical way to do this is to commit to 40 Acts.

This is a brilliant way to find practical ways to live our lives to benefit others, taking the challenge to live with generosity towards others. By doing these simple acts I believe not only do we “live more simply” but also will become happier and more fulfilled ourselves.

If we can live in happiness and harmony with others we are truly becoming God’s presence in the world. This is how we can become more Christ-like and bring life and hope into the world.

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Last week we were in the USA and later in New York as we heard about the tragic loss of young lives in Florida. We also heard today of a young student locally who was tragically killed in an car accident on a railway track. In these times of darkness, globally or in our own lives, we need to seek out God in some way. People can feel abandoned and without faith – yet when we walk alongside people we can help to carry their cross with them and truly become disciples.

So this Lent – let us live generously with faith, hope and love. Will you take the journey?

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The real deal?

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Mark 1:21-28

Last week we celebrated the feast to mark the conversion of St Paul, a great message to tell us that we that it is never too late to look for or offer others a fresh start and new beginning. A chance to see life with a new pair of eyes.

We hear in the Gospel account this week how Jesus healed a man who was possessed in the synagogue. What we may have forgotten in this account is this that they had been amazed prior to this miracle being performed. They had been amazed by the teaching of Jesus as he taught with authority. He demanded their attention and respect, not because they were forced to, but because of what He taught and said.

Jesus had authority because He lived in an authentic and real way, He was “the real deal”, God living amongst us on earth. We could finally hear the Word of God… we can only look to earn the authority we have been given by being authentic, true to ourselves and true to God’s plan for us.

This provides plenty of food for thought for us this week:

  • How do I respond to authority?
  • Where do I find authentic authority in my life?
  • For those of us in a position of authority: How authentic am I as a leader?
  • For all of us: How good am I at being true to myself?
  • How well do I live out an authentic Christian life?

So let us take the opportunity this week to seek out truth and “be real” in the way we live our lives as teachers and leaders. Young people are happiest when they are authentic and true to themselves. Equally we are most respected when we can be authentic in how we live and teach ourselves.

Have a good week ahead.

God bless,

Rob

An advent message

We have finally made it to the end of term… please find below our advent message from St Paul’s.

Have a happy, peaceful and prayerful Christmas.

God bless.