For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Lent means springtime. It is a time of hope and great anticipation as we watch bulbs pushing through the soil, new buds appearing on trees and birds returning from their southern migration. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a time to prepare for the winter . For Christians all around the globe, it is a time to turn to God in a more intimate way to allow the seed of new life to bloom in prayer, fasting, and deeds of goodwill.
Many of our churches and agencies offer daily meditations that bring the Scriptures to life during this Holy Season as we journey towards the cross and the tomb. The Christian life is about a life-changing relationship with God and our neighbors. As with any relationship, if it is to remain meaningful, it has to be nurtured through reading the scriptures and prayer. The Bible is the soil from which all Christian faith grows and prayer the foundation of all our activity. Jesus regularly spent time in prayer (Mt 14:23) and sometimes spent the whole nights praying (Lk 6:12). He also taught his disciples to pray (Lk 11:1ff).
One of John Wesley’s famous sermons was entitled, “The Almost Christian.” There are so many people, he said, who are almost Christian but stop short of a personal relationship with God. He argued that a person can be good and still not be a Christian, something more is required. From his own experience, he relates that “an almost Christian” was a good description of his own life before his Aldersgate conversion. Until then, he claims, he was really a good person who actively tried to help others and serve God but discovered the hard way that this was not enough. Wesley cites three characteristics of the “altogether Christian.” They love God with all their heart and soul, and their spirit constantly rejoices in God. They love their neighbors. Most importantly is the inward change and new found peace found through faith in Christ. Let us move beyond the rituals and religious practices this Lententide to, “do good, do no harm and stay in love with God.”
I bid you a Lententide simple, befitting your life situation and your relationship with the Lord.
Activities of the General Secretary in February
General Secretary Abrahams divided his time between Cape Town (SA), London (UK), and Lake Junaluska (USA) in February. During this time, he was able to meet with member church staff, WM Council leadership, and attend an environmental conference.
Pictured below is General Secretary Abrahams with Bishop Jo Seoka at the Alternative Mining Indaba in Cape Town. The gathering sought to bring together faith-based and community organizations to accompany communities affected by mining.
While in London, he met with Revd. Dr. R. F. Leão‐Neto (chair of WMC’s Inter-religious Relationships Committee) and Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith at Methodist Church House.
He also connected with Rev. Christine Elliott (WMC Officer for Europe) and Rev. Steve Pearce (World Church Relationships Office, Methodist Church in Britain).
At the conclusion of the month, General Secretary Abrahams returned to the WMC Headquarters office at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (USA) for quarterly meetings with staff, the CFO/Treasurer, Kirby Hickey, and the chair of the finance committee, Bishop John F. White.