St Mary's Uttoxeter

Marching Through Lent

22 Feb 2021 • Articles

'Onward Christian Soldiers' is a lively, well-loved hymn which has become sadly neglected. Is that because recent years have reminded us of the reality of ordinary soldiers fighting, being injured and dying in wars which have little to do with Christianity? Or is it because the hymn mentions the risk of hell for those who do not enlist in God's army? Either way, Lent is a good time to think about loyalty to God. Are you marching under the banner of Jesus, faithfully accepting his discipline in active service as well as on the exercise yard and on parade? Or are you wandering through life with no captain to guide you and no plan of campaign to follow?

The cross of Jesus may not be an easy banner to follow. The enemies we must stand against are often the secret and selfish thoughts which fight guerrilla warfare inside us, telling us to put ourselves first, trying to drive out God's goodness and destroy his grace. Only where Jesus is our Leader, Master, Lord and King can we be sure that our victories will bring us to a place in his eternal kingdom.

There is another lively hymn which is sung more often now, and which still proclaims the need to progress in the Christian life .'One more step along the world I go' also mentions the courage and perseverance every Christian needs as they journey through this world. Drifting is for drifters, carried wherever a lazy stream ebbs and flows or possibly stagnates. Travelling is for those who know where they are going, who is their guide and who will finally welcome them home.

This Lent check who is your leader, and how loyal is your love. Are you really 'on the level' and is your voice on the side of God's victory?

With every blessing as you take upon you God's armour of light,