Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
“See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:2)
This week we enter our Lenten journey as we follow the pattern of Israel and Jesus in the Wilderness. Lent begins on Wednesday “Ash Wednesday” which will be celebrated slightly differently because there will be no invocation of ashes, but I do encourage you to join our WhatsApp or Zoom services where we will commit ourselves to the same things we always do even though we can’t physically receive the ashes, we accept that the real invocation is in our hearts not on our foreheads.
On Sunday as we celebrate the Transfiguration, the acknowledgement that Christ is the Light of the World and that He is the Glory of God revealed to us here on earth. There is an association between this event with Jesus’ Disciples and the Festival of Booths/Tabernacles (Sukkot in Hebrew) which was a seven- day celebration commemorating Israel’s time in the wilderness after being freed from Egypt. On the eighth day was a day of Holy Assembly on which prayers were said for rain and the upcoming growing season. The American “Thanksgiving’ drew its inspiration from Sukkot.
As we celebrate the Transfiguration this weekend, let us be mindful that Jesus set us free, let us be mindful that the 40 Days of Lent, are not a morbid time, but a time of deeper devotion, with thanksgiving, for what God is doing through Christ. It is in the wilderness that the people received instruction as to how to worship God, as they received the Covenant Law, and the Tabernacle (with its liturgy and symbolism), but the biggest thing was that they learned to trust God to provide for them. As we continue our journey of faith, let us apply our minds and turn our hearts to learn from God through His word and through our life experiences.
“God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Tim 2:19)
I am delighted to announce that we will be worshipping in both Worship Centres of Good Shepherd and St Mary’s (St Mary’s will do the online services too). We can accommodate 50 people in each church and please remember that we still need volunteers to assist with the logistics.
Next week I will announce the details of the Parish Councillors who will lead us through the coming year, nominations are still welcome as there are still portfolios to fill. I am grateful to Gloria Drewing and Mpume Mbambo who have agreed to stand as Wardens at the Good Shepherd, Vuyi Sibiya will continue as Alternate Warden. Norman Vowles joins the team as a Councillor.
At St Mary’s, Vanda Chittenden and Judy Cuppan will be the Wardens and we meet on Tuesday to finalize our council members.
Again, I remind you that we administer the two Churches separately, but we work together. Working together is an important part of our lives and we will be discussing working more closely with other Parishes too so that we can strengthen our Church and deal with the challenges of our times.
May God bless you Abundantly!
Your servant in Christ
Choose Faith not Fear.