Reflections for Lent from St. George’s College, Jerusalem
Exploring the geography of the Holy Land, following Jesus from Galilee to Golgotha.
A 2021 Lent Pilgrimage
The Very Reverend Canon Richard Sewell has been the Dean of St George’s College since 2018. Now steeped in the beauty of the Holy Land and in the every day life of Jerusalem, he brings unique insights for this Lent Course. The course informs, inspires, challenges and encourages us on this pilgrimage through Lent at a time when pilgrims cannot travel to the Land of the Holy One.
- Week 1 The Desert
- Week 2 The Water Well
- Week 3 The Mountain
- Week 4 The Sea
- Week 5 The Road
- Week 6 The Garden
Every week has a short on-site film expanding the theme and thought-provoking material and questions. (Click on the week to go to that class resource.)
We also had the opportunity to participate in two live discussions with the dean from Jerusalem.
Week 1 - The Desert - February 21, 2021
The desert has profound significance in the Christian life. We are most readily drawn to think about the desert because of Jesus’s temptations there which mark the beginning of his public ministry. But that significant moment evokes the much earlier foundational event of the Exodus of the Hebrew people who escaped the clutches of Pharaoh on a long journey towards the ‘Promised Land’.
Week 2 - The Well - February 28, 2021
In ancient Israel, as across the entire hot and dry
climate of the Middle East where water is not readily
available, springs, wells and cisterns, were especially
important because for large parts of the year, there
was not enough rainwater to sustain the life of humans
or animals. This Lent course, entitled A River Through
The Desert, is itself a reminder of the significance of water to the essence of life.
Week 3 - The Mountain - March 7, 2021
A thoughtful reading of the Bible shows that many of the themes and important events in the New Testament are prefigured by themes and events in the Old Testament. This will hold true for much of what we consider in this Lent course. As mentioned before, Matthew, in his gospel account, can be seen to be presenting Jesus as a new Moses leading people out of slavery into liberation. So, it is not surprising that the mountain of Sinai should find some reflections in the life of Jesus.
Week 4 - The Sea - March 14, 2021
The Sea of Galilee has a special place in the faith and heart of every Christian. So many of us grew up on the stories of Jesus and all that he did on and around the Sea of Galilee. It feels like a familiar place to us even before we have actually visited it in person so, when we do make our pilgrimage to the Holy Land, there can be a sense of feeling as if we have arrived in our spiritual home when we get to Galilee. The Sea is a place of great beauty: a large expense of (usually) blue water and circled by high hills on all sides which afford spectacular views across the sea’s length and breadth.
Week 5 - The Road - March 21, 2021
This fifth week of the Lent study sets us on course for Jerusalem. The road to Jerusalem was well-trodden by the Jews of Palestine in Jesus’s time, and before, because pilgrimage to the Holy City and to the Temple for the great festivals, was a requirement. A crux moment in Jesus’s life in Luke’s gospel is when Jesus ‘set his face to go to Jerusalem’ (Luke 9:51) and culminates in his Triumphal Entry on what has become known to the Church as Palm Sunday.
Week 6 - The Garden - March 28, 2021
It has often been noted that the Bible begins in a garden with a tree whose fruit leads to the first sin (Genesis 2 and 3) and ends with the New Jerusalem in which there is a tree whose ‘leaves are for the healing of the nations’ (Revelation 22:1-5). John Milton described this powerfully in the 17th century in his epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. It might not be entirely incidental that Jesus sought his Father’s will also in a garden (Gethsemane) and sought the strength to fulfil his divine calling, which of course he did (Matthew 26: 36-56). Adam and Eve’s failure to obey God’s will in the Garden of Eden is mirrored in opposite by Jesus’s faithful following of God’s will in Gethsemane.
St George's College Jerusalem - Webinar 24 Feb 2021
A Presentation and Conversation with Dean Richard Sewell.
St George's College Jerusalem - Webinar 24 Mar 2021
Dean Richard Sewell gives a final reflection on the geography of the Holy Land - Rocks and Caves and introduces us to "Cave Theology". He also answers a variety of questions from those who participated.