this week

“A Year In Time.”

Join with us in the Crosslacon Parish in worship as we hold a special service today, honouring the memories of diverse of members of the community over this past year on the first anniversary of Lockdown. We will hold a minutes silence for all those whose lives have tragically been cut short.

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Through the Window in Lent.

Week Four: Clouds

We do rather well for sunsets from both the front and back bedroom windows of our house. We often call to one another – “come and look at the sunset”. Depending on the cloud cover, the normally white grey or black clouds take on such beautiful colours as the sun drops below the western horizon.


Meditation


As I look at a sunset, I can’t help but bring to mind words from a hymn: “The sun that bids us rest is waking our brethren ‘neath the western sky”. People I’ve never heard of, but real people with real lives are ever waking to a new day, as the sun goes on setting and rising. And I somehow catch a vision of the family of our world of which I am apart. People living in a multitude of different situations and circumstances, but all part of who we all are, part of who I am. And I am humbled by the privilege of belonging.

Something to think about…


Might the setting sun help you bring to mind people far away?

Can you find anything through your window that helps you a feel part of something greater?

How about taking pictures of different cloud formations when they catch your imagination and express different things to you?

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Baking Through Lent: Week Three: The Last Supper

I wonder if there is a meal that you have had in the past which was really special…a time you spent with people you really care about? I guess recently we haven’t been able to meet in each other’s houses, never mind have friends’ round for a meal, so maybe this meal took place some time ago…maybe on a special occasion like a birthday or a family celebration like a wedding or Christening or even a Christmas dinner? I wonder if you can remember what you ate?


This week in our ‘Baking through Lent’ series, we are remembering a really special meal that Jesus shared with his friends in the last week of his life….


It was Passover in Jerusalem. Passover was a special festival when the Jews gathered together to remember and gave thanks to God for delivering them from slavery in Egypt. They prepared a special meal to remind them of their experiences in slavery…they had special dishes such as a dish of bitter herbs to remind them of the pain of slavery…flat hard cracker type bread called matzah because the night that God rescued them they had to leave suddenly and so did not have time to prepare and let the bread rise in the usual way… they also had a cup of salt water to remind them of the tears they shed whilst in slavery and a dish made of apple and nuts called haroset (an applesauce-like mixture made with wine, nuts, apples, etc.) to remind them of the mortar used by the Jews in Egypt when as slaves they were forced to make bricks to build huge temples and pyramids. Every year the Jews would eat this special meal to remember and thank God for helping them.


That last week of his life, Jesus and his friends travelled to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. They wanted to eat the Passover meal together. Jesus told Peter and John to go into Jerusalem and get things ready for the meal. Peter and John did exactly as Jesus said and, that night, they met to share the Passover Meal together. When they ate the meal, they remembered how God had taken care of his people all those years ago. How God had set them free.


Jesus and the apostles followed all of the special instructions for the meal. They ate bitter herbs to help them remember the bad times that the Jews had had when they were slaves in Egypt. They ate roasted lamb and they drank grape wine and ate unleavened bread.


Then Jesus did something very special. He took the bread and broke it in to pieces and gave it to his friends and said,

This is my body which is given for you. Keep on doing this to remember me


At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine and said,

This is my blood which is shed for you. Do this to remember me


The disciples wondered what he meant. Then Jesus told them something that was very sad. He said,

Someone here who is sharing this meal with us is not really my friend. He is going to get me into trouble. He will betray me to those who want to take my life.


Only Jesus and Judas knew who Jesus was talking about and it was at that point that Judas left Jesus to put his plan into action.


Today, for our baking project, we are going to make something a bit like the dish of sweet apples called “haroset” that Jesus and his Disciples would have shared. We are going to make apple blondies which are a bit like pale brownies. To make this you will need the following ingredients:,


Apple Blondies


1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
You can add a handful of some chopped walnuts too…but that’s up to you!

Set the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
o In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well until a thick batter forms. You may need to add a bit more flour or a bit more syrup to get the right firm consistency.
o Transfer to the loaf tin and sprinkle on the brown sugar.
o Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden.
o Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing.
o Blondies are meant to be fudgy in the middle, which looks a bit like the mud-cement, and you can cut them up to look like bricks.


I’d love to see pictures of your apple blondies. Do paste them on this Facebook feed.


Whilst you eat your apple blondies, I wonder if you can think of any ways that God has helped you?

Can you think of any struggles or disappointments that you’ve managed to get over and rise above?

Perhaps you could spend some time thanking God for looking after you.

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Through the window in Lent: Week three: Flowers

Most days we walk up and down our garden path for at least 20 minutes. In the summer months we were passing close by a reddish pink hydrangea bush.

Meditation


Each hydrangea flower head consists of lots of small flowers, each of which has at its centre what appears to be another smaller flower. Each individual element is lovely in its own right, but together they make an even more lovely whole – and one that attracts the birds and bees.

This year we have depended on family and friends for shopping and prescriptions, emails, phone calls, photos of things we can’t visit for ourselves, and unexpected treats. All of which we are very grateful for in their own right. Added together they are enriching our lives in a wonderful way.
In the care and generosity we are being shown we recognize and feel the gracious love of God.

Something to think about…

  • Have you had to depend on others during this past year?
  • Do you find it difficult to depend on others?
  • Are you able to ‘lean on’ God in challenging times?