Lent this year will begin with two Ash Wednesday communion services on the 6th of March. The first being at our usual BCP service at 9:00am and the second being at 7:00pm, both being at St Bartholomew’s and open to the whole parish. Please come along and join us as we start our lenten journey together.
Over the years Lent has been seen in different ways as our needs as a Church, and as a society, have changed but it remains a penitential season. Traditionally this has meant that we are to spend time examining ourselves to identify those things that we have allowed to come between ourselves and God so that we can repent. To really understand how best to make use of Lent we need to understand that there are three parts to the act of repentance. We often focus on the first two parts which are, identifying the wrong things in our life and saying sorry for those things. Of course, I wouldn’t want to underplay the importance of these two parts, the third part simply can’t happen without them. But it is important that our repenting is completed. After we have turned away from those wrong things in our lives and said sorry, we need the third part which is to put our back to them and turn to God.
Putting this rather simply if you believe you eat too much chocolate and choose to give this up for lent then, every time you would have eaten chocolate you will feel hungry and will feel tempted to eat chocolate. Turning to something good like eating a piece of fruit will stop you feeling hungry and reduce the temptation to eat chocolate.
Perhaps, this is why many people in recent years have begun to take up a good thing for Lent, rather than giving up a bad thing.
As Christians this act of taking up something for Lent should be about finding a way to spend more time with God and drawing closer to him, something we hope will extend far beyond Easter Sunday!