As you read this, the season of Lent will have just begun, the period of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘lencten’, which means Spring. The period of forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to commit themselves to a new spiritual discipline, to give something up or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
This year, the Church of England’s Lent focus is our care,
as Christians, for creation, and I would like to encourage you to participate
in our Lent Campaign, #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation, which contains 40
daily reflections to help us protect and care for creation, one for each of the
40 days in Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday (26th February) and ending on
Easter Day (12th April).
For each week, there is:
• A theme, based on the days of creation as described in Genesis 1,
• A prayer for use throughout the week, with words taken from well-known hymns,
• An introduction to the week’s theme for children and families, with a Bible verse and a simple prayer.
For each day (Monday to Saturday) there are illustrated daily reflections with:
• A very short passage from the Bible,
• A short reflection on the message of the passage,
• A practical action to help you live in harmony with God, neighbour and nature,
• Full audio of the daily reflection, including a sung version of the prayer for the week.
There are also ‘next steps’ for individuals and churches on how to incorporate care for creation into life beyond Lent.
You can join in by downloading the LiveLent: Care for God’s creation app onto an android or apple device or you can receive daily emails. For instructions you just need to go to www.churchofengland.org/livelent And for anyone who doesn’t have a mobile phone or computer, don’t worry, there are a few booklets available in our churches.
The app also
includes a daily challenge to honour and treasure the earth, suitable for children
and families. On some days there are practical changes your family can make to
help the environment. On others there are challenges to find out more about
creation, to explore the Bible, to reflect and to pray.
Alongside this, a group of us will be doing a Bible study on our Christian response to climate change, based upon a book by Susan Sayers, called, ‘THIS.’ Anyone who would like to be part of this is welcome to join us at The Rectory on the Thursdays during Lent from 8 pm until 9.30pm.
With love and prayers,