Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Blessings of Lent

This is the text of my article in the Parish Magazine: 

Now is a good time to think about how we might observe Lent. This is a season in the church’s year which we can use to simplify our lives and consider our priorities in relation to God and neighbour.

In relation to God: we might want to develop our experience of prayer, in which case I commend the Prayer Course that has just started on Thursdays; or you might join one of our existing small groups that will be entering into the stories of people who met Jesus, through bible study and meditative prayer. You might want to read the bible more, in which case you may need to give up some time you spend on social media or watching the TV… or just get up a bit earlier.

In relation to your neighbour: you might consider helping one person every day during Lent. Look around and ask God to show you where and who you could help. But try to resist the temptation to tell everyone about it on Facebook or Twitter – it’s enough that God knows.

Traditionally, the forty days of Lent is related to the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness before starting his ministry. That time of testing reminds us that Jesus has shared our common experience of temptation and suffering, but he overcame our enemy the devil. We may find that by giving something up during Lent – time, comfort or a luxury food – that we enter, in some small way, into that suffering that Jesus experienced – we share with him as he shares with us.

Let Lent be a blessing and a means by which we can draw closer to God and the people he loves.