Hello my Friend,
I can’t help but feel a little bit of joy creeping into my heart right now as winter is beginning to loose its icy grip on our days (here in the northern hemisphere) and golden sunshine is pushing its way in, coaxing the tiny snowdrop flowers out of the sodden soil. Light is on it’s way! Light is on its way!
And of course this is what Lent means… ‘The lengthening of Days”. After the dark, after the cold, Lent names the season of light coming in. Every day, every step during the season of Lent brings more light and more time in light. Where Advent and Christmas is woven into the sinews of the darkest weeks of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) Lent, leading up to Easter is threaded into Spring, when new life gradually unfurls in the ever increasing light, bursting forth, declaring to all the earth that the darkest days are done, a gradual walk towards the warming long-light days of summer through the bursting, budding, flowering life of spring. Doesn’t that just plant a seed of joy right there in your heart?
And now that this new season is on its way, so our journey through the long story of grace can once more begin. More light, more time in light! So next week, starting on Shrove Tuesday (right after the pancakes) you will find a letter waiting just for you, and a trail of story-letters following on through the days and weeks to follow, like breadcrumbs leading you through the Long Walk story, all the way up until Easter. Some of these stories will be brand new, and some will be familiar from last year. I’ve also edited them down a bit so that reading them will take 10-15 minutes a day (depending on how fast you read). Join the journey as your time allows. And I would definitely say that it is best enjoyed with a cuppa and a friend to talk it over with.
As always, I want to encourage a sense of celebration, anticipation and creative joy as we together walk towards Easter Sunday. So I will be posting (in our post box on the Long Walk Site) printable gifts each week during Lent: scripture cards, craft ideas, posters, bookmarks, recipes etc (all free of course). Because following Jesus is worth celebrating.
Also, as you have been on this journey before now, can I ask you to help me get the word out about this by inviting people who you think might be interested? Can I invite you to invite some friends along for this journey?
As you ponder who might be interested keep in mind that ‘The Long Walk…’ exists for this simple reason: to help people see God’s face and to encourage them to engage with Him, and the long story of His grace in a fresh way through the Easter season (Lent and Holy week). So if you have friends who would be interested in this, please, invite them along. Following this email (tomorrow) will be an invitation which you can forward to those you feel may be interested.
You may also like to plan to take the journey together with a small group of friends, a ‘walking party’ talking it through as you go (either through zoom, WhatsApp or in person over a steaming cup of tea). As a gift to encourage you in this I’ll be sending you a ‘walking together’ fellowship bookmark set very soon. To encourage your fellowship and deepen your journey, you’ll again find “Journey further” reflection/discussion questions after each daily walk.
And like last year, if you have some thoughts to share as you journey, you are also welcome to join our ‘Walking Together’ Facebook group on the Long Walk Facebook page. Where ever we are located in the world, this can be a place where we can encourage one another, share our thoughts, our uphill plods, our downhill sprints, or just the moments and thoughts that stop us in our tracks.
So my friends, or should I call you walking companions? Are you soon ready for our journey together? Just a week now and the story begins… Our Long Walk together through the long story of grace.
See you on the road soon!
I’m looking forward to it, Liz