The United Reformed Church Chesham

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April 2006 Newsletter

Dear Friends

This year among the books I’ve been looking at during Lent is one that is called Colourful Lent by Sheila Julian Merryweather. It encourages you to use colour to pray as you move through this time. Combinations of colour can express feelings in powerful ways – you don’t have to be a good artist! It is also a way to ‘speak’ when words are not adequate. Small children love abstract painting and happily give meaning to their drawings. As we grow older words take over and we lose the freedom to draw and colour our thoughts. Perhaps this is a skill we should recapture.
I know we have several people in our church family who are gifted artists and we have enjoyed their talents at various times. Maybe the rest of us should have a go even it is just for private viewing!

We are travelling through the period of Lent and now Easter is approaching. The 40 days of Lent is a time of preparation and reflection. I hope it has been a time for each of you when you have been able to find some space to do something extra, like join a lent Group, or read a Lent book, or find some set times to be quiet, or maybe to give up chocolate or alcohol or some other treat during Lent. Celebrations are always better if we have had time to prepare and anticipate them.
We can travel through Jesus’ suffering with him as we follow the story in one of the four Gospels, in our Bibles. On Palm Sunday we will receive our palm crosses. We will share in a Communion Supper on Maundy Thursday to remember the Passover supper Jesus ate with the disciples in the Upper Room. On Good Friday we will join with the other churches in the town to try to comprehend the great sacrifice of Christ dying on the Cross. We know what happened next, so it is difficult for us to reach down to the depths of the experience and grasp the extent of Christ’s suffering and the anguish the disciples must have felt. They must have felt themselves going down in a dark spiral of despair; they had forgotten Jesus’ words predicting his death and they couldn’t imagine any future without him.

Perhaps there have been occasions in our lives when we’ve too felt like this. How can you go on when all around the darkness seems to be closing in and more disasters happening? In today’s world there is so much suffering – famine, wars, natural disasters on a large scale and for individuals family illness or other problems. Jesus suffered. God suffered and so in all our suffering there is someone who understands. But we know there is an end to the dark spiral. On Easter Sunday Jesus walked in the garden. Mary recognised his voice and sobbed with relief and joy. A light sprang up from the centre of the spiral; a light that would not be extinguished. Hope for the future shone. Jesus is alive and he is there for us all. The resurrection brings the assurance that the darkness will end and that with God there is peace and new life.

Let’s celebrate the great news of the Risen Christ!
With love

For an Easter prayer find some colours and see what results.

We will have a graffiti wall in church this Easter – I hope we can share our prayers, either drawn or more traditional written ones in this way.