Brethren, how quickly do the seasons catch us! It seems only a short time since I reflected upon the Advent and Christmas period, writes Provincial Grand Chaplain Brian Roberts.
Lent and Easter are busy times for a priest, and as you can imagine it is a time for internal examination and reflection based upon the suffering that Jesus went through. However bad we might think that life might be, our Saviour suffered a lot more than we can imagine because He helped us to save ourselves.
Temptations are ever present in all sorts of ways both physical and mental, but the strength He showed enables us to handle the things in life that trouble us, for in the Gospels it is said that through prayer and supplication there is always a way to a solution. Of course, depending upon the exact nature of our affliction, some additional external help in the form of advice or medication could be necessary to complete our recovery! Jesus’ miracles, however, to heal the sick, disabled and dying did not require anything additional!
It has been said recently that we are no longer a Christian country, and perhaps because increases in population and technology may bring new beliefs and trends in our daily life. The daily round of life with the impact of social media makes many in the population feel as if they can comment on any aspect of life, and all from the comfort of their front room!
They would argue perhaps that they can do good without leaving their mobiles – they are not wrong, but social interaction with like minded-people is important too. In the right environment a tsunami of goodness can be created. I have seen it and felt it in our Lodges. Freemasonry gives us a consistency in outlook of life which enables us to think about our brethren and fellow countrymen outside of the Order. Even though Masonry is not a religion, it has a strong basis of belief in the Great Architect of the Universe, and the approach to life that members bring could easily be substituted for the values that some think have passed us by as a nation.
We complement the values given to our society by other community based organisations. Just look at what you have all achieved during the pandemic and since in the support you give to our local communities. Look at what one of our own members has been stimulated to do –taking on a most daunting walking challenge as a response to what Freemasonry did to help him at a time of need. Consider how much you all have raised already for the 2025 Festival. Large or small, it all matters and Lincolnshire and the country at large will benefit from this generosity.
Perhaps we do not always think about many of our Lodges in Lincolnshire from a Christian point of view but one of things that has struck me since becoming Chaplain is just how many of our Lodges are named after Saints or whose names are recognised within Lincoln Cathedral as significant contributors to the life of the community. As Easter draws nearer through the period of Lent which begins today on Ash Wednesday, we then reach Palm Sunday the Sunday before Easter, on which day Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem is remembered. For Christians the 40 days of the period of Lent is for fasting and prayer and to meditate on the suffering of the Saviour. Easter is a sad time until the services on Easter Sunday which then celebrate His resurrection.
I wish you all a blessed Easter and pray for you all and your families of whatever faith you practice. Let us pray too for those less fortunate than ourselves-“Great Architect we ask you to comfort those who are suffering stress in their lives. We ask you to be with them in their darkest moments and that they may receive your loving support when it is most needed.
We humbly ask that you give them the assurance that all is not lost and that the inspiration of Jesus’ survival which we remember at this Easter time will sustain them in the days to come” SMIB.