Bishop's Reflections #5 The Gift of Lent

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So how will you use the gift of this season of Lent?

As we begin Lent this week so I'm very mindful that for many of us the whole of the last year has felt like a season of giving things up and reflecting on the suffering of this world these,

traditional themes of Lent. So this year as we mark Ash Wednesday and move into the six weeks of Lent I want to suggest that maybe instead of taking things away and giving things up for Lent, we think about what we might want to add in, as a way of marking this season in a quite different way.

So Christians mark the seasons of the year, the Christian calendar, because this is our way of entering into God's story. It's our way of ensuring that the story of God's interaction with this world is not just something we listen to or something we hear, but it's something we enter into that it becomes a part of our day by day lives. So the story of God's creation of this world and the way God has poured out his love into this world, the story of how God has entered into the suffering of this world in Jesus Christ, and then the story of how God plans to restore all things through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we mark the different seasons of the year so we enter into this story and it becomes our own, shaping something of who we are as people and communities. So this Lent my simple invitation to you is to think about what you might add in to your life such that you can enter into this story in a deeper way. For many of us that will be something to do with reading the story of God's interaction with this world as it's recorded in the bible. Maybe it's reading the Psalms, a different psalm each day hearing the psalms of laments the expressions of grief and anger that are there, or indeed the psalms of praise wandering at God's creation. Maybe it's reading the stories about Jesus and making it a goal to read just a little bit of one of the gospels each day, such that at the end of this season of Lent you get to the story of Jesus's death on the cross and then his resurrection on Easter day. Or maybe it's about exploring different sorts of prayer, different ways of engaging with God and God's story.

We have some wonderful resources in the Diocese of Leicester if you look on the website of Launde

Abbey or indeed Leicester Community of The Tree of Life you'll find some really interesting resources suggesting different ways of engaging with prayer and maybe this season is a time for you to explore a new way of praying and entering more deeply into God's story in that way.

However you choose to do it as an individual and as communities, I hope that this season will mark something very different for you and will mark a new depth in your own life with God. And so I pray for you wherever you are that you would know God pouring out his love on you that you would know God inviting you to enter more deeply into that love and into that story. And may you find this Lenten season, a season of new beginnings as we look forward in great hope to celebrating Easter.

First published on: 15th February 2021
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