Lent Reflections 2024 REPENTANCE



‘Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.’

Romans 12 :2


Grace and peace.

I have included herein the weekly Reflections on the Weekly Meditations delivered during the Lent Course, and the three Messages that I delivered at All Souls during the Easter of 2024, while based at All Souls Umhlali, in the Diocese of Natal.

Reflections were sent out via Whatsapp (on Wednesday’s and Friday’s) to all groups within the Third Order, St Francis and St Clare – Southern Region (where I served as Guardian at the time) , and the Parish of All Souls Umhlali,  as well as All Saints Stanger and the Mvoti Clergy Team. The reflections were also translated into Zulu and distributed to St Philips Kwadukuza and the Archdeaconry of Mvoti.

This booklet can be used to revise the material covered during that Lent, or as a Lent course for future years if desired.

I humbly submit this to the Glory of God and for your growth in Christ Jesus.

Andrew (tssf)
Rector of All Souls Umhlali
Regional Guardian
Third Order, Society St Francis.

Easter 2024

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stoney, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.’
Ezekiel 36:26



This Lent I want to focus on Repentance as a ‘change of heart’ as opposed to an act of ‘saying sorry.’  ‘METANIOA’ in the Greek.

Our Ash Wednesday New Testament reading 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!”

The Christian call is a call to facing the future as a new being, it requires a new approach to the future not only a new reflection on the past. It is not only about saying, “what have I done, and how did I do it, and what have I not done and why did I not”?

But it is a process of giving of ourselves to action to do the future better. And not only better than what we have in the past, but better than we would do in the future, if we just did it without living in the power of Christ.

Lent is about reconsidering how we can live our future better, not just how we can escape from the past.

Lent is not simply about giving up of things, but about making room for the new life that Christ has given us, re-ordering, decluttering and reprioritising.

Lent is a build up to Easter, a preparation for Easter and end point and so I prepare us here for that end when, I will speak of the things that Mary had to change her mind about at the birth of Jesus and at his Resurrection.

Luke 1:29 says that “Mary was greatly troubled and tried to discern what the angel said.” May Lent be a process where we take our troubled minds and discern what God is saying to us!

Mary had to choose faith over fear, the Angel said: ” do not be afraid I bring good tidings.” (vs 30)

She had to realize that she would not do things in her own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Vs 34) “How can this be?  “The holy Spirit will come upon you!”

And she would have to operate in Humble obedience – “Let it be to me as you have said.” (Vs 38)

On Easter Sunday I will share with you how Mary had to have a change of mind at the resurrection.

How she went to the tomb to minister to him and treat his dead body with spices but had to be transformed to serve his risen body.

How she went wondering about the stone that blocked her path to Jesus, (again wondering how she would do this in her own strength, but the Holy Spirit did the rolling) she was transformed because the stone was rolled away.

How she was afraid when the angles spoke to her but had to be transformed to be a fearless witness to the resurrection.

We need these transformations of our hearts and minds: and we will see how they relate to Jesus in the wilderness and to us, as we go through Lent.

This Lent I want to examine the call to think differently. Act differently as the Prophet Isaiah, (Is 58:6-7) challenges us to do. It is a call to “do” life differently. It is of no use to apologize for not dealing with injustice. Repentance must cause us to fight for justice.

May this Lent be a time of increased work in each of us, may it be an intense and focused process of prayerful refurbishment and transformation. A process of removing what is displeasing and embracing what is pleasing, to God. Lent is not just about giving things up. It is about making room for what needs to be transformed in our lives. It’s about letting go of what was so that we can see what is.

Will you come with me as we seek this transformation in our lives, as we make room for Jesus and follow his example, through which he transforms us into his likeness?

Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord your God!

Turn away from your sins and believe the good news.

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