Where does time go? It only seems 2 minutes since we were celebrating Christmas. Well - 9 weeks ago in reality. Now we have begun Lent and looking towards Easter. But what does Lent mean in reality to you? A passing attempt at giving up sweets or chocolate? Perhaps looking at doing a Lenten course of Bible study?
In my church, St. Christopher’s C of E, on Shrove Tuesday we remove all flowers and banners and empty the church of all brightness. This is to remember that Lent is a time of reflection on the seriousness of what Jesus faced for the human race. On Maundy Thursday, we have a service of stripping the church, in which all the altar frontals, pulpit falls, and candles are removed, so we can remember the bareness of that Good Friday, when Jesus gave up his life for everyone. Only on Easter Sunday does the church burst into life again. We also keep our Christmas tree and make it into a cross. On Easter Sunday everyone is given a daffodil to place into the wire surround on the cross. Then the cross bursts into life and colour.
Our Muslim friends have Ramadan and we are often amazed at their dedication. We as Christians have Lent, but we do not often shout about this time in our Christian calendar. We should really make more of this and show the secular world that Lent and Easter is a very special time for the Christian Church. We have a wonderful opportunity to show the love and sacrifice that Jesus took upon himself for every human being in this world.
Please do not ignore or waste this time. Let it be a real time of witness and sharing of the Good News that Jesus Christ was born, died and rose again, to give to all who believe in him eternal life. Isn’t that wonderful news to shout about?
There is a Hymn: - ‘We have a gospel to proclaim’ (H&P 465, StF 418). We are to share this abroad.
I hope and pray that as individuals and as Churches and as a Circuit this time will be a time of blessing and growth in our lives.
May you have a blessed Lent and Eastertide.
John W, Pastoral Co-ordinator