Rebecca's letter for March

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. Luke 4:18-19

By the time you read this, we will be well into Lent. Lent is a time for deepening our commitment to God and his kingdom. When Jesus came on the scene and made his first speech in the synagogue, he announced his manifesto with the above words which he quoted from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah (chapter 61). One of the things which we are meant to do during Lent in particular, is consider our giving to the poor, and our support of those in need. Being mindful of the needs of the poor and oppressed in our society and in our world is a Christian responsibility. Jesus cared for and had particular concern for those on the margins of his society. He would seek out the lost and the marginalised, the sick and the afflicted. He cared for them and healed them, and stood alongside them.

This Lent, I wonder how we may show our support and solidarity with those like this in our society and in our world? Here are some ideas:

Review your purchase of Fairtrade products, and see if you could buy more than you normally do. Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 26 February to 11 March.

Support the Bishops’ Lent appeal this year. For more about the appeal please click here. This year, the appeal is giving towards the work of the Church in Zambia, our Diocesan Partners, and lay ministry.

Give to our Food Bank in Taunton. Every Sunday, we collect items for the Food Bank in our churches, and also at the coffee morning at Creech on the last Saturday of the month. Bring along your gifts and we take them to Taunton regularly.

Buy Fairtrade Easter eggs for yourself, your children, grand-children, god-children and for the Food Bank.

Pray for the work of the church in other countries. Use a prayer calendar from Christian Aid (eg Count your Blessings) or the USPG which offers ideas for prayer.

Consider supporting financially the work of mission organisations overseas such as Christian Aid, USPG, or Mission Aviation Fellowship (there are lots more!), read their newsletters, give financially, and support them in prayer.

Lots of ideas! We can’t all do everything. But we can all do something. I believe God calls us to look beyond our immediate situation; to give thanks for what we have, and to be willing to share what we have with others, especially those in need, in poverty or who suffer from unjust regimes. Thank you for what you do already. It is much appreciated.

With every blessing for a good Lent, and a happy Easter when it comes.

Rebecca Harris 

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