Seeing with new eyes

The six weeks before Easter (Lent) are a time when many believers focus on the wilderness experience of Christ (Luke 4:1 - 13), alongside His journey to the cross, death and resurrection. With resurrection comes celebration: the Lenten fast is broken and believers can feast again. Sin is defeated, death overcome and hope triumphs over despair

In common with recent years, we'll be following that journey from the perspective of one of the gospels. This year we'll be looking at how Mark recounts the last weeks of Jesus' life – we’ll begin our Sunday messages in Mark 8 where Jesus predicts His death.

If you want to know more about each study topic try listening to the sermons. If anything strikes you or you want to know more or you just have some questions on the studies or sermon, then do leave a comment and we'll get back to you.

Study 4: Seeing with new eyes

 You can look but not see: you may listen but not really hear.

When we’re confronted by something that challenges our understanding of the world – some revolutionary new thinking, for example – we don’t always take everything in right away. Quite apart from working out whether it’s an acceptable and necessary change, it takes time to grasp new ideas or even fresh understandings of things we’ve been used to.

There’s no real substitute for experience, whether it’s reflecting on the tried and tested or the discoveries that come from working with something new, learning as you go along. Discipleship, the building block of the church, is a good example of this: we grow through what we have experienced and, in being open to the leading of God’s Spirit, are invited to embrace the unfolding vision God has for His church.

Study 3: What do I really value?

 There’s a few old boxes and jars on the shelves in my garden shed. To the untrained eye, the contents are a mixed bag in every sense of the description: rusty pieces of metal, a few coils of wire, oddly shaped spanners, nails with funny tops, garden tools with functions few now remember. In a bag on the floor, there’s even a chain – an agricultural one – exactly one chain long (22 yards for those of us who remember the old measures, that is 100 links each at 7.92 inches).

Study 1: Does it have to end this way?

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, hot on the heels of Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday). Feasting and celebration are followed by confession, fasting and abstinence.

JourneyToTheCrossThe six weeks before Easter (Lent) are a time when many believers focus on the wilderness experience of Christ (Luke 4:1 - 13), alongside His journey to the cross, death and resurrection. With resurrection comes celebration: the Lenten fast is broken and believers can feast again. Sin is defeated, death overcome and hope triumphs over despair.

Study 2: Face to face with God

Some things stick in our memories. It might be something really wonderful you’re happy to look back on (and even relive) with great fondness but, on the other hand, it might be an event or even a person you’d gladly forget … if only you could.

JourneyToTheCrossOver 30 years on, Peter could look back to an event that had really gripped him and which he couldn’t stop talking about (2 Peter 1: 16 – 18). He’d experienced something unique, an event so powerful and an engagement so profound that he didn’t really appreciate – nor did he understand – what was going on around him. All he knew was that he was in the presence of God.