Barham Downs Churches

  • The Rectory
  • The Street, Barham
  • Canterbury
  • Kent
  • CT4 6PA

01227 668190
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And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There ; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows ; a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.

On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said. 
The Coming – R.S. Thomas

Lenten journey

The season of Lent was marked by a cindered-cross upon the forehead during the Ash Wednesday church service and with it comes forty days of self-introspection and repentance for the Christian worshippers within our communities. This period of time is less commercialised than during Advent so that many of us may be inclined to think about the coming spring in what needs clearing out or mending after the winter storms. 

It is about a journey through the Church calendar meditating upon Jesus living in a desert and being tested as to whether he was the one to be the Christ. It is also a journey through Palm Sunday where Jesus was greeted by the ‘hopefuls’ of his time; through Passion Week in Jerusalem and the days leading to the Last Supper, betrayal, crucifixion and an ignominious death.

And yet, The Coming written by the Welsh clergyman, R.S. Thomas (no direct relation), is vibrant in its imagery of a journey from the infinite to the finite where the Son knowing the consequences of the ‘crossed boughs’ still offers to ‘go there’ while we with our ‘thin arms’ continue to wave our palm crosses not really comprehending the cost until three days after his death. 

Wherever we are travelling this Lententide may it be an opportunity to let go of those things that hold us back and to welcome new beginnings into our lives.

Rev Stefan (aka RevT)