Vicar’s Views continued…

Dear Friends
Knowing Me, Knowing You….
At risk of showing relative youth, I wasn’t around when, in 1977, Abba released their single ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’.
The hit song went on to top the charts in what was then West Germany and in the UK and other countries. The song was about a relationship break-up but it’s the title which has come back to my mind as I think forward to the start of Lent.
Years after the single was first released it became the theme tune
for ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge’ which featured on BBC TV in the early 90’s.
The character Alan Partridge is the conception of comedian Steve Coogan and if you watched the aforementioned show or the recent series ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ or even the movie ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’ you’ll know that Alan is a man who has a somewhat misguided image of self – who he really is and his desperate attempts to be seen as an celebrity A-lister.
Watching Steve Coogan play his Alan Partridge character is of course great comedy but at times a bit close to home as we all have a bit of the Alan Partridge typology in us, we all want to be a success and sometimes the aspiration to both be and be seen to be a success, can lead us to ignore the realities of our lives as they are.
Every Ash Wednesday I do my very best to make a decent cross shape on the heads of people attending worship. With the imposition of ashes come the powerful, even arresting words ‘remember you are dust and to dust you shall return’.
The words draw us into the period of reflection that is Lent, they force us to recognise our own identity as mortal beings, and in being honest before God, about that identity, to reflect on where our pursuit of power, wealth, fame or status have taken us away from a
contentment with the life God has given us in the here and now.
Lent is what I call a ‘Prodigal Period’ an entire season where we have space to face up to the things we need to confront and to actively seek a renewed life founded on the love, grace and promises of God.
We find strong echoes of Lent in the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 . Here in pursuit of a hedonistic carefree life, a son squanders his inheritance before finding himself in a desperate situation brings home the reality that pleasure is temporary and
when exhausted leaves us lost. As the son discovered, true contentment is not found in anything external to our lives but in an acceptance, an ease with our own body, mind and soul, for this is the place where we find God who describes us as ‘temples’ of the
Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
I do understand of course that coming to terms with self and achieving true contentment is not as simple as flicking a switch but is often a lifetime’s work. Trust me, you’ll be inspired by your own depths of courage if you’re prepared to go on this journey of discovering your true self, and may the Holy Spirit be your daily guide.
Let me wish you an adventurous Lent and leave you with the words of
Jesus: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6.19-21)
In Christ