Lent. How will you spend Lent this year?
Historically, Easter was the principle time for baptism and for reconciliation of those excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults. This led over the years, Lent, traditionally, being a time to focus upon self examination, penitence, self-denial, study, reflecting upon our financial giving (almsgiving), and preparing for Easter.
But it is possible to see these 40 days only about discipline and doing more things or less things… What is the deep purpose?
”Contrary to what many may think or feel, a period of spiritual endeavour (during Lent, perhaps, or while taking part in a retreat) is a time of joy because it is a time for coming home, a period when we can come back to life. It should be a time when we shake off all that is worn and dead in us in order to become able to live, and to live with all the vastness, all the depth and all the intensity with which we are called.”
(Metropolitan Anthony Bloom)
As Luke 15:11-24 could be seen only as the young son ‘coming to his senses and sorting his life out’, the young son comes home, to a full life where, in a sense he was always meant to be.
Lent is a time to come home, to our Heavenly Father, where we have drifted away in some way, to rediscover the fullness of life, Christ promises in John 10:10.
How will you spend Lent? What will you do? Here are three opportunities we have offered through our facebook, website and email newsletter:
– International Justice Mission which helps fight human slavery – 40 days to go without coffee / chocolate / make up, give what you save to IJM, and take on weekly challenge relating to the issues of slavery.
-” Live like a North Korean” – Open Doors resource, which engages with thoughts and reflections on the challenges faced by North Korean Christians.
Here is the PDF for that Lent Activity:
And / or pray each day for one of the most difficult countries currently to live in as a Christian.
– #Live Lent: Church of England phone app, which delivers daily thoughts from John’s Gospel, focusing on a weekly theme, with suggested actions how to reflect and pray, and how to live missionally as a Christian.
There are of course many other resources from Christian organisations, books, devotionals which guide us in our use of Lent. But those are three we are suggesting for this year.
So how will you spend this Lent?
Revd Grant Crowe