This photo by Niall Carson from the Press Association, of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church is such a lovely photo. The church yard takes on a life of its own after a heavy fall of snow in Stradbally, Co.Laois. Some parts of Ireland got lots of snow while other areas got none at all.

Getting Around A Knot this Lent

It is well known that a knot is the hardest part of any piece of timber. They are symbolic of all that is difficult and challenging in our lives. If you take a cross section of a tree you can see how the tree always works around the knot.

Instead of grinding to a halt and stop growing, the tree slowly works around the knot. If you look at a close up of a knot you can see how the grains of the tree really curve around the knot. Once it has gone around the knot, the tree resumes its upward growth again.

Lent also provides us with an opportunity to look at the knots of our own lives. We are invited to not give up when we face something challenging and difficult. We pray for healing, growth, courage, hope and the strength to work around the knot whatever it may be.

Thought For The Week

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured.” ~Matthew 17:1

 A feature of any mountain road is that it usually winds its way up. It never goes from the bottom to the top in a straight line. This makes sense too as it is so much easier to climb the mountain if the path meanders gradually, rather than go straight up. It is a reflection on the journey of Lent too. It has to be done slowly and gradually. 

The views from any part of a mountain allow us to see things from a different perspective. What we see up higher is very different to what we see below in the valley. It is sometimes good to get perspective in life. It is sometimes good to step back and away from the busyness of life, to recharge and find balance again. 

The Gospel story of the Transfiguration makes it clear that it was a special moment for Jesus and his disciples. It was one they would never forget. When difficult, challenging and upsetting days would come, the Transfiguration would give them hope and courage. 

I know the word Transfiguration is a word that is rarely used today. It translates as a change in appearance or a spiritual change. The words spiritual change might help us to understand it better. Lent is a time of change, a time of spiritual change. It is a time to step out and away from those parts of our lives that are no longer life giving. It is a time to step away from negativity and those parts of our lives that no longer energise us.

We all know that even with beautiful views up on a mountain, we must come back down. But one thing is certain: we come back down changed and changed for the better. We come back to where our story continues to unfold. Lent encourages us to allow our story to unfold in new ways, in good ways, in positive ways and in ways that are life giving and good for you. But like any Lenten journey or with any mountain climb, take your time and you will get there.

The Thought For The Week is updated each Monday