Emerging from the Desert

Thanks for finding our Lent page. Throughout the season of lent, we will be offering a series of weekly reflections inspired by the readings for the Sundays of Lent from the Revised Common Lectionary. There are also some resources from Lent 2021 at the foot of this page.

Lent is a season of the year when we are invited to find time and create space to reflect on our values and priorities in the light of the values of God's Kingdom. Lent 2022 has been a particularly unusual experience, as it has coincided with the lifting of final Covid restrictions in the United Kingdom. So we are invited to enter a season of withdrawal and reflection at a time when this imposed reality is coming to an end in wider society. It is this that has given rise to the title EMERGING FROM THE DESERT. These reflections are based on the regular Bible Readings that Christians use on the Sundays of Lent, and particularly explore how we move forward from the experiences of recent times.

The 5th Sunday of Lent introduces us to the story of Mary, anointing Jesus and wiping him with her hair. This unorthodox action caused great unease amongst the dinner guests who witnessed it, but was affirmed and validated by Jesus. It reminds us that we can be honest in God's presence, we do not need to be ashamed of our mistakes and will be accepted for our integrity rather than creating the right impression.

On the 4th Sunday of Lent, we are invited to engage with a story Jesus told of two sons (Luke 15) Each found themselves in a desert place - one through wasting and abusing his father's generosity, the other by becoming a slave to duty. Each needed to embrace again a father's love and re-discover grace and mercy.

Our reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent invites us to engage with the Old Testament story of the call of Moses. For Moses, the desert had become a place of escape, but he discovered the presence of God amidst the ordinary and routine of his working day as a nomadic herdsman. Through it we are reminded that Lent is not just a season of withdrawal, but one in which God can commission us for service.

This reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Lent is inspired by the story of Abram and Sarah. The Old Testament book of Genesis, chapter 15, records how this childless couple are promised that they will be the parents of a great nation. They are invited to emerge from the desert of disappointment and barrenness into the fulness of God's promise.

The season of Lent is one in which we are invited to replicate the 40 days and nights of prayer and fasting that Jesus spent in the desert. As he emerged from the desert, he was confronted by three 'temptations' seeking to define the shape of his ministry. He recognised that these did not represent the road he was called to follow. This reflection is based on that story, recorded in Luke's Gospel, chapter 4.

Service for Maundy Thursday

We are grateful to Carolyn Urwin who along with members of Latchford Baptist Church have put together our shared services of reflection for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

(Scroll down for services for Good Friday)

Service for Maundy Thursday

Service for Good Friday