Revd Canon Stephen Herbert

The Vicar Writes

Wednesday 26th February 2020

Listening and Turning Towards God

In his great poem Ash Wednesday, written after his conversion to Christian faith, T S Eliot speaks of the intense struggle we have in following God, even noticing God in the busyness of our lives: no place of grace for those who avoid the face, no time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice. There is a need to tune out the “noise” which demands our daily attention in favour of the voice of God. God surely longs to speak to each of us but we must take the time to listen.

Lent is my favourite season of the Church Year. I shouldn’t need an excuse to spend more time with God, but perhaps I do. In my Lenten discipline I try not to make it just a sacrifice of food or drink but an addition of devotion that points me towards God and Jesus’ saving grace. Avoidance of God on my part is usually unintentional, and not always obvious as it can come in the midst ministry and presumably “holy” things. Extra time spent in prayer and reading (the Bible and other spiritually nourishing books), intentionally giving both time and resources to those in need of them rather than those who demand them, and simply contemplating the joy of knowing Jesus my Saviour are the stuff of Lent.

I should always be doing these things, but our worship and our focus as a church in this season will hopefully help all of us draw nearer to God. Turning towards God, listening for His voice and direction are good prompts from Eliot, and good advice for the season of Lent. God bless us all as we seek a deeper knowledge of Him in this season.