Lent Book and Home Groups
This Lent, you are invited to join in reading thought- and prayer-provoking reflections written by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, through 2020. These 26 reflections are brought together in the recently-published “Candles in the Dark: Faith, hope and love in a time of pandemic”. Each reflection invites us to think and pray afresh into our experiences of lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Home groups meet on Zoom each week through Lent. There are groups meeting during the day and in the evening – and each group has 8-12 participants. The leader guides the group through Bible study, discussion and prayer, taking a different focus for reflection each week.
If you already belong to a group, your leader will be in touch. If you would like to join a home group please email Diana at email@example.com. All are welcome, and we will be happy to find you a home.
Lent 1: Week beginning Monday 22nd February
Herd mentality (p. 90). Rowan WIlliams uses the image of flocks of migrating geese to invite us to reflect on how we can live as the Body of Christ: “… so careful and sensitive that people learn how to flow around one another as they move, not surrendering to something subhuman but rising to a different level of human understanding and action.”
Bible readings: Psalm 133; 1 Corinthians 12:14-26
Lent 2: Week beginning Monday 1st March
A steady solidarity (p. 23). We listen to Williams’ encouragement to value Christian witness in the rhythm of every-day life which often goes unnoticed, and a faith and hope that holds steady rather than searching for a quick fix. Williams writes: “There is heroism in the daily rhythm; making the small differences you can make, at home, online, wherever, in small courtesies and kindnesses, in assuring others they are not alone.”
Bible reading: Matthew 13:31-33; 44-46
Lent 3: Week beginning Monday 8th March
Behind the mask (p.54). Through lockdown, we have come face-to-face with ourselves as never before: our insecurities and our failings. We reflect on how we can offer this to our God who knows, forgives and loves us – and, by whose grace alone, we can become our best selves. Williams writes: “We talk a lot about ‘the face we present to the world’, about ‘saving face’ or ‘losing face’ about ‘putting a brave face on things’ – and so much of this kind of language suggests that our ‘face’ is something we can work on and polish until it shows only what we want to show.” Bible reading: Psalm 139
Lent 4: Week beginning Monday 15th March
We are not alone (p. 16). We reflect on the ways we have connected with the world around us in new ways through lockdown – recognising that we belong to the whole of God’s creation. Williams writes: “Just as each one of us can only become who we are in relation to others, so the human race can only be its true self in relation with the rest of the living world.” Bible reading: Psalm 65
Lent 5: Week beginning Monday 22nd March
Staying put (p.7). Written for Maundy Thursday 2020, Rowan Williams’ reflection focusses on Jesus’ commandment to love one another as I have loved you. To love, as Jesus does, means a love that is always there for us, and that does not falter or turn away. Williams writes: “To obey the new commandment to love is to stay put: to stay with the people God has given us to love, to nurture and by nurtured by, to challenge and be challenged by.” Bible readings: Psalm: 131; John 15:4-13
You can order a copy of the book via Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury – email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, to online or telephone 01666 500221. If you order via Amazon, Tetbury Church is registered with Amazon Smile. Go to http://smile.amazon.co.uk. Select The Parochial Church Council Of The Ecclesiastical Parish Of St. Mary The Virgin And St. Mary Magdalen, Tetbury as your charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price to the church.