Thoughts from the Rectory

“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

It seems odd that Lent should begin on St Valentine’s Day. Ash Wednesday (also the 14th February this year) is the beginning of a season of fasting and preparation and not best suited to romance or indulgence. The contrast is enormous but perhaps there is something rewarding in making that transition from one to the other.

Inevitably there will be some people who will publically announce they are going to give up chocolates or alcohol ~ declaring their personal sacrifices, and their anguish, for forty days. They shouldn’t. Many Christians do fast over Lent. It gives you an opportunity to think about God and to pray. It echoes what Jesus did in Matthew 4;2 – where he fasted for forty days and nights and which is repeated by us during Lent. The reading for Ash Wednesday is always Matthew 6 and it tells you not to trumpet about what you are doing, but to do your preparations quietly because fasting should be an intensely private affair.

I would earnestly encourage you all to observe Lent in prayer, in preparation and in recognition of the greatest feast day of the year; Easter. A day when all Christians celebrate Jesus’s resurrection and triumph over death.  It’s a period of time in which Christians are meant to give up some comfort or adopt some spiritual practice that leads to self-examination, repentance from sin, and, ultimately, renewal of the soul, all in anticipation of greater dedication to serving others and God in the coming year.

But here is something on a lighter note. Lent is forty-six days during which we fast in anticipation of the great feast of Easter. But, each Sunday in itself counts as a mini-feast day when we celebrate the good news of Jesus Christ. So on Sundays you are exempt from fasting.

So here are some ideas that may guide you;

  • Give up something you will miss
  • Take up something that gives to others
  • Be creative
  • Tell no one you’re doing it
  • Take Sundays off but do go to church
  • Know that what you are doing is preparing yourself for the greatest day of the year. Hallelujah!