Letting Go for Something New.
We are entering into the second quarter of the year. I read an interesting quote that described this time as being ‘a quarter past Christmas.’ It sounds like something fresh out of a Narnia story! Historically and chronologically this means that at this time Jesus was turning his gaze towards Calvary, and Mary was being confronted by Gabriel with the news that she was with child. Two major events happening at the same time, just 33 years apart.
We are half way through Lent, and as a community we have attempted to focus our gaze around the idea ‘Let Go, and Embrace.’ The practice of letting go is costly, there’s a sacrifice involved which in itself is a (little) death from which the potential for something new can be birthed.
On Sunday we heard from Ralph Simpson who works for N’vader, an arm of Tear Fund that reaches into the hardened areas of Thailand that is held in the grips of the Sex Trade Industry. Ralph and Joy gave up the comforts of their western life to serve a people in desperate need. To embrace these ones has cost them a lot but their story is one that brings a sense of hope in the midst of great challenge.
A couple of weeks ago we ran an event to raise money for refugees in Syria, a pub-style Quiz Night. Even though it cost time and a few less hours sleep the sacrifice in running something like this can hardly fall into the category of dying. The resulting event was also hardly an uncomfortable experience, the food was great, beverages were in great supply, the company was amazing, and the Quiz Master brought us the game. A couple of thousand dollars was raised which is a drop in the bucket up against the enormity of the needs in Syria, yet it was our attempt to engage with something in the world much greater than ourselves, to give up, and to give away.
Both of these stories highlight what we can do, especially in this season where our focus is on giving something up to make room in our lives, enlarging us in ways we would never know possible.
Just as Jesus turned set his face towards Jerusalem, and Mary stared into an abyss of great unknowing may the rest of our Lenten season include a great sense of hope that all of these events invite.