Dear Friends and Parishioners
I am sure you have noticed the number of sets of traffic lights that have appeared around the island over the past months. The ones at the Glen Darragh Crossroads in Glen Vine are creating a mini carpark as far as the vicarage first thing in the mornings as traffic queues to get through them! These traffic controls are a necessary part of safety as people work on the roads but we tend to see them as an inconvenience to be passed through as quickly as possible; we dislike being kept waiting, our journeys interrupted, as other road users take their turn to move onwards; we see the time spent waiting as a waste. Our eyes are glued to the red light anticipating its change to amber and green so we can zoom off to something far more important than sitting stationary for a minute or two.
As we have been progressing through our Lent reading ‘Generous God, Generous People’ I have realised that this time of year in Church is like sitting at a set of red traffic lights. Lent asks us as Christians to stop our usual activity and, through prayer and Bible study, to wait upon God, listening for the Holy Spirit to direct us,
perhaps down a new route in our lives. Knowing Holy Week is only a few weeks away, and with signs of the new life of spring all around us, we sense that we are looking ahead for the ‘amber lights’ of the last days of Jesus earthly life. On Palm Sunday we re-enact Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem; on Maundy Thursday we share His Last Supper; on Good Friday we ‘Watch at the Foot of the Cross’. Then the light goes ‘green’ and we are off on the joy and delight of Easter Day: the Good News of the Resurrection, the conquering of sin and death, the promise of eternal life and journeying once more in the hands of Jesus. We may now be on a new road or an old familiar one that has been resurfaced but if we have used the ‘red light’ waiting time of the Lent wisely then we will be better travellers than when we set out, our time will not have been wasted but put to good use, discerning God’s route for our lives.
So as you arrive at the traffic lights, instead of praying that the colours will quickly change, use the pause to consider what God may be trying to tell you this Lent.