East Trent Churches
How many of us took part in the new, New Year observances of dry January, veganuary or sugar free February?
How did these new traditions come about and why do some of us embrace them? There must be something about human beings that likes to mark the seasons with rituals and collective activity. At one time the church ruled our lives and the year was marked with saint’s days and religious feasts and fasts. Now in our secular age, the year begins with fasting to recover from Christmas excess, it is punctuated by sporting events, then in the autumn our consciences are pricked and perhaps soothed by Children in Need and we prepare for the great feast of Christmas by watching Strictly Come dancing or the X factor.
But in March, we are invited to join in the season of Lent. At one time, new Christians prepared for Baptism in Lent and now it’s an opportunity to get ready for Easter, to think seriously about our lives and our relationship with God, other people and the world.
Some people find it helpful to talk about these things with a friend or to make a formal confession, with a priest.
Some people find it helpful to make some sort of fast, by giving up something they think they can’t manage without.
Some people find it helpful to do something different or extra, like reading a book, going to church or beginning to pray.
Some people choose to live more generously, giving money or time to charity.
I invite you to join in this season in a joyful way, not to spend forty days counting down to when you can have your next chocolate bar.
So, if you choose to think or have a conversation about your life, see that as a way of making things better. If you give up some delicious treat, make the most of realising that life is sweet without it. If you read, go to church or pray, see that as a way of learning more about the world and your part in it. If you choose to live generously, give thanks for all that you have.
Do look out for what’s happening in our churches and join in, you will be most welcome.
Have a good and blessed Lent.