Fat Tuesday 

In some places they call it Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Here we know it as Pancake Day.

Shrove Tuesday or pancake day is nearly with us. 

Shrove Tuesday comes from an older word - shriving. Shriving described the tradition where Christians confessed their sins and received absolution from the priest.

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated in different ways around the world. In Lithuania people eat pancakes and donuts. In Finland people enjoy green pea soup and pastry. And in Iceland it's salted meat and peas.

Pancake Day has become increasingly popular. It's wonderful to celebrate pancakes. 

What's your favourite pancake topping?

Do you like sugar? Or chocolate? Peanut butter and banana? Or are you inclined to top your pancakes with goats cheese and rosemary?

It's wonderful to enjoy pancakes. But Shrove Tuesday, also marks the beginning of the 40 days that lead up to Easter.

The events of Easter are central to the Christian faith.  At Easter we re call the death of Jesus and the amazing resurrection.  We're remember how our sins and our messes seperate us from God. And we're also reminded of how God has offered to forgive us.

The journey towards Easter invites us to lay down some things in order to lead a simplier life. A life where our focus can be on God and taking time to know more about His love for us.

What might God be inviting you to lay down?
 

Keith Wilson, 28/02/2019


Making Disciples 

I'm really excited about our 'Making Disciples' course which starts next week.

Isn't it amazing to have some time to explore what it means to follow Jesus? I'm really looking forward to inspiring thoughts, great conversations and some wonderful challenges.

I'm sure it won't all be easy.

But I'm also convinced that God wants to take us on a journey - together.

Shortly after Jesus' resurrection the 11 remaining disciples travel to Galilee to meet with Jesus.

It was a divine appointment. Jesus has asked to meet them.

Do we allow enough space in our lives for similar 'divine appointments'?

As they meet Jesus we're told that some worshiped him. Which is great and what we'd expect from 11 disciples who had spent such a lot of time with Jesus.

Matthew also adds: but some doubted.

Isn't that a mind blowing thought?

Some of the 11 - and we're not told the exact figures - worshiped. And some doubted. But they were all called to follow Jesus and be his disciples.

In church some people will really seem to have caught this discipleship thing.

They serve. They smile. They pray. They worship.

At the same time others of us may doubt.

But Jesus still calls us to be his disciples.

So, whether you've got it. So, whether you doubt you've got it.

Or whether you regularly swing between the two.

Where you feel you are isn't nearly as important as where Jesus calls you to be.

Let's learn to travel together as Jesus' disciples remembering too that amazing promise of Jesus: I am with you always.
 

Keith Wilson, 29/01/2019


For what we are worshiping we are becoming 

So wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson.

An interesting thought - don't you think?

We become similar in behavior and character to those that we worship.

So, what do you worship?

Not an easy question to answer.  So perhaps try these questions instead.

What matters most to me? Whom do I care about most?

Who or what gets my devoted attention and loyalty?

What's my top priority? Where does my time, energy and money go?

The first of the commandments given by God to His people says simply: You shall have no other gods.

Here's the thing.

You and I were made to worship. And if we're not worshiping our Creator, then were trying to put something else in His rightful place.

That's a challenge for us - isn't it? Surrounded by things we've bought. Tempted to buy more. Under constant pressure to do more and more.

How can we, as God followers in Lower Earley, make sure that God gets the right priority in our lives?

 

Keith Wilson, 14/01/2019