"We do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)
As we journey together through the season of Lent this year, perhaps this little story from an unknown author may assist us along the way.
“A spider dropped a single strand down from the rafter of an old shed and began to weave his web. Months went by and the web grew. Its elaborate maze caught flies, mosquitoes and other small insects, providing the spider with a rich diet. Eventually, it became the envy of all the other spiders. Then one day the spider noticed a single strand stretching up into the rafters and thought, ‘I wonder why it’s there? It doesn’t catch me any dinner.’
“Concluding it was unnecessary, he climbed as high as he could and severed it. In that moment the entire web began to fall upon itself, tumbling to the floor, taking the spider with it. Could we as Christians make that same mistake? Could we spin a great web, then sever it? Could we grow so successful, so smug, so self-sufficient and adopt a secular culture and forget the strong strand that supports us? Could we look at our prosperity and respond not with gratitude, but with arrogance? Recent happenings in our country and across the world make me wonder.”
In Australia today there is a tendency to remove God from all public life, and it is indeed gaining momentum. Could that portion of the population be looking at that strand of faith upon which our country hangs and asks: “Why is it there?” Could they be forgetting the hand that holds us up?
During Lent, we are led by the Spirit into the wilderness so that we can be strengthened by prayer and penance. The wilderness times in our lives are necessary for it is there we come face to face with the obstacles that block the inflow of divine life and love into our hearts, such as our priorities, our possessions, cars, books, clothes, appearance and so on.
You know the kind of list we could each make, eating too much, buying too much, holding our tongue when justice and fairness demands that we speak out and speaking when we should be quiet. Yes, these are human failings but they are also traps.
In this secular world, some people say, “Look away from God, He is outmoded anyway, be interested in yourself, watch out for yourself, no one else will.”
When the renowned British preacher C.H. Spurgeon was asked if he could put in a few short words what his Christian faith was all about, he replied, “I will put it into four words for you. ‘Christ died for me’.”
“Apart from the Cross there is no other Ladder by which we can get to Heaven,” Sr Rose Lima said.
This Lenten season let us all commit ourselves to a renewal of faith and trust in Christ.
Weekend Worship will be held in St Luke’s Chapel this coming Sunday 8 March, between 5.30 pm and 6.00 pm. Everyone is invited to come along and we look forward to welcoming you.
Ft Iain Furby