The United Reformed Church Chesham

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February/March 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends

Do you have a favourite place where you like to be? Perhaps there are several places depending on your mood or what you are planning to do. Different places play their own special part in our lives. They may speak to us of memories, adventures, relationships, and happy or sad times. When we want some rest and peace, we may snuggle down in a comfortable armchair or our bed to find the refreshment we need. Some people find a walk in the countryside helpful and have several favourite places or walks they regularly return to. For others a visit to a busy town or shopping centre will lift their spirits.

It is a fact that a high percentage of people visit churches and cathedrals when on holiday or travelling. Why does this happen; do these buildings ‘speak’ to them? I guess that we have all made such visits and sometimes we are inspired and delighted by the visit, but at other times we are disappointed and find little to inspire us or to take away with us. What makes the difference?

At the end of last year, I attended a meeting at a convent. A very enthusiastic nun welcomed us and told us a little of the history of the place. She wished us a good day and assured us that the walls of the room we were in had been impregnated by the prayers of many people. She hoped we would feel this and that our prayers would add to this atmosphere. How a building is used and decorated can leave a lasting presence.

Several times I have spoken to people coming into our URC for the first time and they have commented on the lovely peaceful feel of the place. I would like to think this feeling comes from the history of many, many people worshipping and praying over the years. Walls impregnated with prayer! Buildings as well as people can speak of faith and inspire.

As we come again to the time of Lent, let it be a time to reflect and prepare ourselves for Easter. It is good to try to give up some time each day to think how and where we have seen signs of God at work. As we think how God speaks to each of us, we may also reflect how we can speak to others of God. Reading a passage of the Bible each day may help our reflections.

‘Be still and know that I am God and there is none besides me’ (Psalm 46:10)

Let us all try this season of Lent to be more aware of signs of God in the places we go and to help others to find signs of God in our church and homes.

With love
A prayer for lent:
Gracious Lord,
In the busy days help us to find times of quiet with you.
In the quiet days help us to find time to be busy with you.
Be with each of us as we travel through this time of preparing for Easter
May we know that you are God and feel the great joy of your presence with us each day wherever and whenever we seek you. Amen.