We have today perhaps one of the most searching I think of passages as we approach Lent.

Let’s have a closer look at the passage Here we have the Disciples once again in for a parable as Jesus tries to diffuse a dispute between two brothers. The one wants his share of the family fortune .Typically Jesus tells them to watch out for greed will be their downfall.

He tells the story of the rich man whose Barns are not big enough for his crops. He has decided the thing to do is expand and take time out, eat drink and be merry- as the saying goes. But God tells him how stupid he is because he’s going to die tonight and so it is irrelevant. In the words of the Shania twain song ‘That don’t impress me much’! It’s not really what following Jesus is about. Remember we do say we are ‘Following Jesus together ‘

 But he goes on to say don’t worry about Clothes, Food etc. the birds get fed

And so will we God knows what we need and we will be supplied all we need.

Unfortunately  we are living in times of greed and selfishness.

The world keeps telling us that ‘to be where it’s at’ we need all the newest gadgets , the nicest clothes , the newest perfumes – even for Men these days . very different to when I was growing up.

But what do we really need ?

We might stop to think what items we have that we truly need and what are simply indulgences. I am sure I would not be alone in finding that actually I could very easily live without X  or Y . But I decided I wanted them . To be part of the gang , up to date whatever you want to call it.

Will any of these things help me live longer ?

More importantly will they bring me peace of mind , will they bring me closer to God?

Will they help me to tell others what God means to me and to them?

The other week I was asked to go into two rivers school and tell the young children ‘what Jesus means to Me’  I have to say it brought me up sharply. I realised that what I was going to say could either encourage them to want to find out more or put them off for life!  It also made me ask myself what DOES Jesus mean to me .

If we are to tell others the Good News and make it real then it has to be real to us – we have to live it day by day.

I have clothes to wear , I have food to eat and a home to go to but there are lots of people for whom this is not the case and I don’t mean only abroad.  Once a month I go to Birmingham Cathedral to do Chaplain duty and I see the growing community who live in the grounds who truly have nothing.

I hope I can give them the one thing that I see as useful – the love and consideration and support that Jesus gives me every single day. The comfort that Jesus is with them whatever else happens.

Yes if I can give them any help in this mad world then I will but what is more precious than the love of Jesus .

So what are we going to ‘worry about ‘ as we approach Lent? . what is are relationship with our Saviour and redeemer ?

Have we built up stores for ourselves that if we were to be ‘called home’ tomorrow would be of no use.  Or do we share what we have with those who need it most.

Let’s approach lent ( a week and a half away) thinking about how we serve God’s Kingdom today and how we can do it better . Let’s be determined to Grow the Kingdom. That , of course , means not just ourselves but the Christian community to which we belong.

We are not by any means the wealthiest of churches and you will remember that we recently had to pay out a lot of money to fix the roof . I also think that in this day of increasing red tape we need someone to look after such things – the admin . We also need to have a presence in the mission of Christ in Amington ,- A missioner .

Non of these things just happen and so if we want our community to thrive then we need to think in Lent about our part in it all.

What Talents do we have that Jesus needs us to use.

We also need to be supportive in other ways and we have two opportunities this lent .

  1. The Lent lunches time to meet with others and to contribute to the cost of these so that the cost is not born by one individual or the church
  2. The Pancake event  – same thing applies .
  3. It’s a thanksgiving for the effort the people who organise these things .

One of the passages that has always challenged me ( and still does) is that passage where the rich young man is told by Jesus

“ go and sell what you have and give it to the poor then follow me”It’s a challenge that is there for us all . The problem is it’s very much easier to say than do