March 2024

Dear Friends

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. [Isaiah 40:31 NIV]

Isaiah is my favourite OT prophet; the writing is full of rich poetic imagery. Chapter 40:31 is no exception ̶ the poet is calling his audience to look beyond their
own depression and set their hope on Yahweh. The image is of waiting for God to lift them up as if carried away with enormous wings, like that of an eagle.
Isaiah wants his audience to focus on the flight of eagles to imagine themselves being lifted by God’s power which not only will allow them to soar, but also will renew
and refresh them with boundless energy.

In the summer months, I like to watch buzzards and red kites (when visiting Northampton) soaring overhead. They effortlessly glide hundreds of feet up in the
sky on the invisible thermals the warm weather can generate. They glide without the need to flap their wings using the energy generated by the heat of the sun to rise
higher and higher until they are almost out of sight. I always watch these birds and wonder what it must be like to be able to do that, just to be able to extend one’s
wings and soar high in the sky.

And this is a good metaphor for when we are faced with life’s troubles. How often do we get in a flap and burn up lots of energy fretting about all manner of things, many
of which never occur?

Isaiah wants to encourage us to put our hope in God, and feel the renewing strength and power of his love for us, and not to get in a flap over the smallest of things.
As we consider our journey through this Lenten season, where we tend to fast or give up something as a sign of devotion to God (such as chocolate or wine), perhaps
I can encourage you to take up something instead, this being soaring on wings like an eagle supported by an undeniable hope and trust in God. Feel the warmth of
God’s love for you lifting you up higher and higher; for surely God is control and the universe is unfolding as it should.

With strength and courage, we ascend, towards horizons that never end. Guided by hope, our hearts alight, in the vast expanse of God’s endless light.

Kind regards and every blessing

Revd Peter

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