Colin Mansfield - Secretary/Lay Minister
Iain Foyers - Lay Minister/Treasurer
Elsie Tough - Lay Minister
Maureen Farquhar - Lay Minister
St Mary in the Fields team of friends helpers and workers.
The Lamb of God John 1:29-42 by Colin Mansfield
Agnus Dei, … Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In Latin or in English, even these words are exquisite. And the concept they capture is far, far beyond that. It is the very heart of Christianity. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in. As human beings, we are wired from head to toe with self-preservation instincts: we are given a school education, health & safety rules, insurance policies, and lawyers standby ready for if we fall. Yet here is a man Jesus willing to throw all that away. He is without sin, without guilt, yet he is willing to lay down his life for our sins, for our guilt ~ which we are oblivious of ~ in our own little worlds ~ which are governed by Fear and Security.
Why? In the bloom of health, in the prime of life, 30yrs old, why embrace an agonising death? There’s a one-word answer. But it is powerful enough to explain the entire life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The one-word is: LOVE and God loves us first, God doesn’t wait for us to find Him and for us to love Him. Jesus is human, but more than human. He is the love of God made flesh. He was, is and will always be God. He was before all creation. He is in us and around us today. He grants us Freedom and will call us to eternal life tomorrow. But still many people turn away to live in their own little stockades, surrounded by fear of the future, worries of the present with cctv security systems and burglar alarms.
SAYING NO & SAYING YES
As you know, on this day, millions of Christians around the world engage in the ancient ritual known as “the imposition of ashes.” The practice of using ashes as a sign of penitence goes back to the Hebrew people (“sack-cloth and ashes”). Christian use of the ashes goes back to the 2nd century, and it was widely practised by the 5th century.
Ash Wednesday begins the forty-day journey of Lent between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It is intended to set the believer on a sobering time of self-examination and repentance, in preparation for the renewal of faith one might receive in the observance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the supreme feast of Easter.
Many Christians try to take this time seriously. Churches almost go into a time of mourning, even though Sundays are always “Feast Days”. Traditionally we don’t sing the ‘Gloria’, we don’t have flowers etc – all intended to give the great contrast when Easter joy bursts in! Mothering Sunday come in mid-Lent, often referred to as “Refreshment Sunday”.