Living the Good Life: Lent Talks
A rather bucolic scene is implied by the title of this years lent talk image. Claude Monet titled his painting The Sheltered Path, and in many respects what is shown is exactly that. What would I not give, in some of these dark winter days, to be enjoying a sunny stroll down in the countryside along a wide path like this one!
Even in this apparent pastoral idyll, however, all is not perfect and untroubling. The browning leaves of the trees on the left seem to indicate the onset of autumn. The path is well-made, but sits on a gradual upward incline, and then disappears out of sight.
Christians often speak of life as a journey – a pilgrimage, even – and Monet’s painting suitably illustrates one kind of journey our lives may demand. For even if we are currently enjoying a life that could be compared to the easy, sheltered path which Monet depicts, it is unlikely to remain so forever. And if we are already finding life to be an uneven path, we will benefit from whatever support we can get. Like walkers in the hills are always advised, we need both to keep ourselves fit, and to pack for any eventuality!
In the Christian journey, such fitness and preparation could be equated to various spiritual practices. Centuries of experience have shown these to be the activities that can help us in life’s journey. During the sunny times, they help us – individually and collectively – develop our sense of who we are and what we are called to. When the weather turns, they help us sustain and recover that sense of meaning and purpose.
In this year’s Lent course, we will attend to some of the fundamental spiritual practices. How should I read the Bible? How can I pray well? What is it to live well with others? How do I discern God’s call on my life? Much of the life of faith – a life that Jesus promises is truly ‘life to the full’ – deals with these questions. Each session will open with a parishioner reflecting on the ways in which they have benefited from that week’s particular spiritual practice. A member of the clergy will then offer suggestions of the ways in which we might develop our own practices, before opening up wider group discussion.
We hope such convivial conversation and space to reflect will nourish us spiritually as we step out in faith over our journey of Lent and beyond. But we will also be nourished in a very literal sense, with a delicious two-course meal with wine.
All are very welcome to as few or many sessions as you are able to attend, especially if you have not been to our evening events before. We have 4 weeks of sessions on Monday 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th March. All sessions take place in the St Luke’s vestry, beginning at 7.15pm for 7.30pm, and ending by 9.00pm. For catering purposes, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you there.