Blessed Lent and Easter!

Blessed Lent and Easter!

By Connie and Jan


Dear Friends,


Lent is the season of life. In the northern hemisphere where we live it is also the time of spring. After the long, dark and cold wintertime nature begins to revive: the grass starts to grow, the snowdrops disappear and make room for hyacinths and daffodils to bloom, the trees turn green again, birds build their nests, and the first ducklings are already swimming around in the ponds. Migratory birds are returning from warmer areas, the days are getting longer again, and temperatures are rising.


But all this is only meaningful if you consider that this is only possible because of God loving this world so much that He gave His Son, who died for us on the cross to redeem our sins and reconcile us with His Father. In this way He established LIFE, even eternal life for those who believe in Him. So, Lent really shows us the preciousness of life: Jesus had to die for it. Therefore, the call to believe in Him and to listen to Him, or rather to follow Him and do what He says, is not just optional, but crucial.


In our “House on the Rock” series from Matthew 7:24-27, last time we looked at what it takes to build a solid house that can withstand the storms and floods life has for us. This story is the closing part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – which has been called the Constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven, and summarizes believing and following Jesus as listening and doing what He says.


Listening AND doing: not just hearing – going in one ear (and out again the other) -, not even just pondering – and of course it is important to ponder Jesus’ words in your heart, as they need to ‘sink in’, which takes time and focus – and not just agreeing – accepting that they are true and good and important -, but … doing! Following Jesus, discipleship, is a way of life. Not just a course you do and finish. There is no graduation in discipleship. At least not in this life. It is lifelong learning and growing in listening and doing.


In the April newsletter you will read more about the the challenge of hearing and listening. But also the blessings that come if people really listen and follow Jesus, taking up their cross and doing what He has said: to love God and our neighbours (the Great Commandment), to make disciples of all nations (the Great Commission) and the call to be one so the world will see that Jesus is the Messiah (the Great Collaboration). Blessings not only for themselves, but also for the people and the world around them.


The ‘Five Marks of Mission’, the expression of the Anglican Communion’s common commitment to, and understanding of, God’s holistic and integral mission, nicely summarise it in another way. The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ:

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom

  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers

  3. To respond to human need by loving service

  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation

  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth


We know! This is a lot! But if we start doing these things in Europe, and so show that we as evangelical Christians are real followers of Jesus Christ, it will make a difference. The great thing is, we never walk alone! Jesus has gone before us, and His Spirit is in us.


May you all have a blessed Lent and Easter!

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