by Margaret Baker; Team Vicar
We have just said ‘goodbye’ to the Christmas and Epiphany seasons, and then before you can say, with any certainty that your Christmas decorations are safely stored away, we’re directing our thoughts towards Easter.
As we reach the month of March, this year we will be well into the season of Lent. A time for us to prepare for Easter but what is Lent? – Traditionally It is a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar, during which Christians use it as a time for prayer and penance.
By observing Lent, we are remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, who withdrew into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days before his crucifixion. You might like to refresh yourselves of Jesus time in the desert by reading the account in Matthew 4: 1-11
I am hoping that the weather will have cheered up by the time you read this, for as I write it is bitterly cold and there is snow falling. However, the churchyards and our gardens are showing signs of the first snowdrops, the sign that winter won’t last forever, the nights are getting lighter and that Spring is on its way.
On March 11th we celebrate Mothering Sunday, which brings with it the joy and hope of new life, and the love and care of those around us. Then, after that brief Lenten respite, we then turn our hearts and minds towards the cross, as we make our spiritual journey towards Holy Week and Good Friday. I wonder how you will mark this unique time in the churches year or will it be like any other week?
So, as we look towards spring and Easter, I leave you with a Lenten prayer.
As the days lengthen
and the earth spends longer in the light of day,
grant that I may spend longer
in the light of your presence, O Lord,
and may those seeds of your Word,
which have been long-buried within me, grow,
like everything else around us,
into love for you, and love for people;
to become a visible declaration of your Lordship in my life.
Grant, Father, that this Lent there may be
a springtime for my life in Christ,
Where new shoots grow and begin to grow.