From The Rev’d Mike White – March 2019

Mike White

Dear friends,

We all relish a love story and this one is no different.

It all begins with one emperor penguin jumping out of the water and doing a belly flop onto the ice. Then he rises on his little web feet and the voice of the narrator says, “Like most love stories it begins with an act of utter foolishness. Each year at about the same time, the emperor penguin will leave the comforts of his ocean home and embark on an incredible journey. Though he is a bird, he won’t fly. Though he lives in the ocean, he won’t swim. For most part, he’ll walk. But he won’t walk alone.”

Gradually the scene fills with hundreds of penguins waddling along on their little feet past immense ice formations under a crystal blue sky. The destination is always the same, but the path isn’t since the ice and land never stop shifting. New roadblocks will arise which seem to baffle them. But they never stop for long. Soon one of them will pick up the trail and the journey continues. That’s the introduction to the epic film ‘The March of the Penguins’. It’s the story of their journey of over 70 miles to mate and breed in the most unaccommodating of conditions.

Mark 1 verses 9-15 begins the tale of another and even more amazing love story and another journey, the march of Jesus, the journey of Lent, and the journey of faith. The story begins with Jesus’s baptism where he’s affirmed as God’s Son; it continues with his journey into the wilderness which is a time of preparation for His vocation to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom; here begins the journey that leads to the cross. Lent is a time when we’re called to reflect on our journey and to seek to walk more closely with Jesus. Whilst the destination is always the same, the path can be quite different for each and every one of us. The good news is we never make the journey alone.

Our Lent Lectures start in March {details will be in the ABC} which will lead us on our journey of faith and seek to go deeper. To follow Jesus we have to be prepared to journey with Him. In the same way that Jesus’s ministry began with His baptism so our journey of faith and of being a disciple of Christ begins with our baptism. Lent is a time when we draw aside, when we spend time alone with God, reflect on our journey so far and prepare ourselves for the future. Lent is a time when we face up to the temptations that life throws at us and learn to resist them in the light of Christ’s example.

Lent is a time when we are invited on a journey. Like the penguin’s march, it’s a journey of love that begins with an act of utter foolishness as St Paul says in 1 Corinthians:   ‘The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’.

If we want to be part of the most amazing love story of all time we must be prepared to make the journey of faith, to take up our cross and follow Christ. If we really want to get to the destination that Christ leads us and has promised us then like the emperor penguin we have to take that leap of faith. Each of us has to take steps not only to deepen our own faith so that our spiritual lives are enriched; we are also called to accompany one another on that journey.

Mike White

Chesterton Rectory
01869 572559
revmikewhite@gmail.com