Welcome to Lent
Whether you give something up or take something on in Lent, may I encourage you to go a bit deeper this year? Like a number of others, I’m sure, I shall use my Lent to live a bit healthier and to try and lose some weight, but I also would like to try and give some more time to develop my relationship with God and with others.
Our lives are often cluttered with ‘stuff’ – and not just the year-on-year accumulation of possessions either. Sometimes we need to reassess the range of activity in our lives, ensuring that there is balance and harmony as well as good works. The biblical principle of the Sabbath reminds us that a life (or a church) full of endless activity without space for reflection and renewal is neither good nor particularly godly.
So why not make some space for God this Lent. There are plenty of ways you can do this. You can attend a Lent Group, study and discuss a Lent Book alone (or with others in The Woodman!), come to a weekday service, attend the Lent Talks, or simply set aside some extra time for stillness and personal prayer. It might be great to try and give away some of your time, your possessions, your money or your gifts. Pope Francis has called this year a Jubilee of Mercy – what a great theme to offer compassion and kindness to others through charitable service or offering your talents to the church in some way.
But whatever you do, perhaps most of all don’t just do: reflect on what you do. How is God speaking to me through my Lenten journey? What I am learning about myself, about my God and about my calling? What is life revealing to me in this time of growth?
And, if you want to reflect on any of that – before, during or after Lent – please don’t hesitate to come and see me, Peter or a fellow-Christian you respect to talk it through. We would love to help you understand more about what God is doing with you and within you.
May I wish you a very fruitful Lent.
Canon Simon Butler