Since Ash Wednesday I have been texting a bunch of anonymous phone numbers some reflections during Lent. Each day, usually early in the morning, Blesséd has been clogging inboxes with small bits of scripture, ritual, encouragement and Christ-focused cajoling.
Obviously, it finished this morning, and so I asked for some feedback. People have been encouraging me throughout Lent in this, but here are some of the comments (suitably anonymised):
There have been lots more as well, all encouraging. I know many people have followed it directly (I had to put a cap on at 100 subscribers as ‘unlimited texts’ actually means 3000 texts a month which makes 100 people per month), many have had it re-posted onwards and many have followed it via Twitter. It all sounds so successful.
And yet, so few people came to the last Blesséd, so little engagement from the young people I spend so much time and effort over, I am constantly reminded of our vulnerability and the fragility of ministry. I say this because I think that we are better, Blesséd is better, the parish is better when it is aware of its weakness and therefore turns to Christ for support. Only by reliance on Christ can we become more Christ-like and less seduced by our technology, by our numbers or by our riches (which is good, because we don’t have any).
Someone read my Tweet about the Communion Wine at the Chrism Mass (tasting notes: Yeuch!) and thought it ‘highly offensive’ as though I was criticising the Precious Blood itself (!) If ever there was a wrong end of the stick to be grabbed, this was it; but it further depresses me that some might think that, that all I have preached, or the ministry I have striven to offer is anything less than the full and complete catholic faith of the Church of England. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Indeed, you can’t win any of them.
The Lent, Holy Week and Easter at St. Thomas the Apostle has been wonderful, the people for the most part responding well and taking a full and complete part in the worship and witness this Triduum. Good things have happened, many have been drawn closer to the life of the Church and a life lived in faith (one person came to everything this Triduum and I think got a lot out of it): enquiries of faith, and seeking of discipleship. Blesséd was good. I must not let the demon of self-criticism pray on me – there is always more I can do, but I pray that what we have done has been pleasing to the Lord.