We all make preparations for different events and trips. During the past number of months, the cast of ‘The Quare Gunk’ have been preparing for the production by learning lines, remembering where to stand, etc. Before going on holidays we prepare by packing our suitcases, making sure our passports are in date, purchasing travel documents for flights, ferry crossings, etc. Before we drive our car we make sure that there is fuel and oil in it and we prepare food before we eat. No matter what we do in life, it involves preparations.
On 18th April, we mark Ash Wednesday, and this begins a period of preparation, more commonly known as Lent. In the early Church, Lent was used by Baptism candidates to help them prepare to be baptised on Easter Sunday morning. Each Wednesday during Lent (including Ash Wednesday) there will be a service in Church at 7:30pm. As we prepare for Easter, let me encourage you to come along to these services.
In our Diocese, Bishop Ken has announced that Lent 2015 would mark the beginning of a year of preparation for the Year of Opportunity in 2016. During the perpetration period we will be encouraged to pray, share, evaluate and plan for the future of the parish.
However, what about preparations for an event which every one of us will have to attend? This event is being called to leave this world. Preparations need to be made and it is of the upmost importance that we know how to make them. Thankfully we have a generous and compassionate God, who has already made the way for us to make these preparations.
As we journey through Lent, we are encouraged to think about the Passion and Death of Jesus. The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus died for our sins, thus making it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven. So to prepare for this event, Jesus asks us to invite Him into our lives, He wants to forgive our sins so that we can escape the realities of a lost eternity.
In my home church there is a lovely stained glass window which depicts Jesus knocking at a closed door. This is a familiar image, and is true of all our lives. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” Revelation 3:20.
Please let me encourage you to make the right preparations and invite Jesus into your life.