Dear sister and brothers in Christ,
Welcome to worship as we observe the third Sunday in our journey through the Lenten season. Lent gives an opportunity to focus on drawing closer to Christ, in order then, to connect more closely with the life of our communities. At first glance some may look at the Scriptures today, the presenting of the ‘Ten Commandments’ and ‘Jesus cleansing of the Temple’ and wonder how do I draw closer Christ and the community through such texts? Probably there are numerous ways we can. Could it be God is inviting us as people into a new relationship and way of being with God and with one another? One of the things that is easy for us as human beings to forget, is that how much life has been altered by the mercy and love of God and how laws and commandments have shaped the world by the relationships we share with others and God. The most central of these commandments that binds them all together is the Law of Love. We find this expressed in the ‘Shema,’ recited by Jews and also remembered by Christians everywhere.
The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the great and first commandment and a second is like it: you shall love your neighbour as yourself.
How much time do we reflect on this and use it as a source for not only recognising our faults, but as a means of drawing nearer and being more in tune to the life God has given to each of us.
May you journey well with Christ this week.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.