Pastor’s Blog March 2019

Lent begins on the 6th of this month and continues into April. It always surprises me how many people both inside and outside of the church do something for Lent. I guess it surprises me because Lent barely got a mention in the Christian tradition in which I grew up but lots of people seem to give something up for Lent.

There is no doubt that it is helpful to have special seasons in which we give extra attention to our spiritual life. I am more than slightly dubious as to whether giving up chocolate for 40 days will make a significant contribution to the state of our souls. I wonder if we wouldn’t be better to take something up for Lent. A spiritual practice that might enrich us and deepen our relationship with God. Here are three suggestions:

  1. Daily Readings through Lent.

There are many books produced specifically to be read through Lent and arranged as 40 days of readings. One of my favourite authors Tim Chester has a Lent book on The Beauty of Christ. Many Christian organisations produce materials for Lent that are sent daily by email. E.g. TEAR Fund.

  1. Pray for the Persecuted Church.

You could set aside 5 minutes a day to pray for the Persecuted church. An organisation like Open Doors will have material you can use and will be available on line. Given the issues we face as a nation we could be spending 5 minutes a day just simply praying for the U.K.

  1. Use Lent for self-reflection.

Lent is a time set aside for self-reflection in the run up to Holy Week and Easter. What better way to invest in our spiritual life than to allow God to search, renew and restore us. My own regular pattern of self-reflection covers my mind, my emotions, my vision, my motives, my imagination and my use of words (what I say and what I write). Bringing these areas to God, asking ourselves some tough questions and asking the Holy Spirit to search us, to renew and purify us might lead to a deeper encounter with God and his grace.

Phil Dixon