Lent 5, 21 - 28 March 2021. 'Seed'
Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (verses 23-24)
The poem you can read if you scroll down was originally written in Spanish by a refugee from West London Welcome, one of many London-based refugee projects to receive a grant from LCRF, often to enable them to buy travel and phone cards or to make one-off emergency payments to the destitute refugees who seek their help.
We pass it into your hands for Lent 5 as it came to us – the fruit of maybe bitter life-experiences, sown in the memory in the dark days of winter, now rising green and fruitful into the light of this early Spring.
Kneel and harvest it, taste it as it springs – with humility – fresh from the humus (earth) of a refugee’s experience, and let it nourish, sustain, and inspire you as you read it, and relish its fruit.
Dear Lord, thank you for sustaining and upholding the work of the London Churches Refugee Fund and its Trustees for these past 14 years. In your mercy raise up the next generation of younger, more diverse, Trustees; and give ever-fresh ideas, and renewed energy so the Fund may continue to thrive, and to provide practical support to destitute asylum seekers across London, through its twice-yearly grants to front-line refugee projects.
Loving our neighbour as ourselves.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, from whom all mercies flow. Amen
Pictures from the Cotton Tree Trust, another project we support, showing art materials and games being prepared for delivery and a wifi connection being delivered, both to help refugees get through lockdown.
Reflection - poem by a refugee
“The best book of my life”
See how your wings soar this year, surviving the days that 2020 left us, a hard year in which there were many tears and pain, a year that had to be fought to stay safe from this virus. But God in his infinite love has protected us and we have to be grateful.
May this new year be one of miracles, coming accompanied by its beautiful season of winter, filling the trees with its white layers of snow, lighting up and filling with joy the little eyes of every child , filling every heart with hopes that this year will be better.
It's the coldest time of the year and life rewards us with the warmth of those good-hearted people who make us happy with caring gestures. In every human being there is a piece of God and it is reflected in each action toward others.
I wouldn't change a moment of my life, this stage of dreams and joys that God gives us with so much love.
We are people who undertake new life projects, pursue and fight for what makes us happy. We must not stop believing and dreaming that this new book of our lives will be the best thing that has happened to us.
Although I may have good days, bad days, dark days, sweet days, there will always be a rainbow at the end of the road.
Action for the week
Set a timer for 7 minutes. Find a quiet space to sit. Start your timer and say to yourself: “Everything I have is a gift from God, who has created everything that exists. Is there anything that I want to give thanks to God for, this past 24 hours?.....”
Allow whatever comes to mind to ‘pop’ into your head, for which you can give thanks to God: the smell of your morning coffee, that TV show that made you laugh, the shop keeper who served you today, the book you’re reading, a text or phone call, a kindness given or received, even this reflection. Give thanks to God for each of them as they come to mind…and stop when the timer goes ‘ping’!
This week's material by Revd. Chris Brice, LCRF Chair, inspired by the poem from a service user of West London Welcome.
"El Mejor libro de mi vida"
Mira tus alas como alzan el vuelo este año, sobreviviendo a los días que nos dejó el 2020, un año duro que hubieron muchas lágrimas y dolor, un año que se tuvo que luchar por mantenerse a salvo de este virus.
Pero Dios en su infinito amor nos ha protegido y tenemos que ser agradecidos.
Que este nuevo año sea de milagros; con su hermosa estación de invierno viene acompañado, llenando los árboles con sus capas blancas de nieve, iluminando y llenando de alegría esos ojitos en cada niño, llenando de esperanzas cada corazón que este año será mejor.
Es la época mas fría del año y la vida nos premia con el calor de esas personas de buen corazón que nos alegran con gestos de cariño. En cada ser humano hay un pedacito de Dios y se refleja en cada acción hacia los demás.
No cambiaría ni un momento de mi vida, esta etapa de sueños y alegría que Dios nos regala con tanto amor.
Somos personas que emprendemos nuevos proyectos de vida, perseguimos y luchamos por aquello que nos hace feliz, no debemos dejar de creer y soñar en que este nuevo libro de nuestras vidas será lo mejor que nos haya pasado.
Aunque tenga días buenos, días malos, días sombríos, días dulces, siempre habrá un arcoíris al final del camino.