From the Vicar
Carving out our time at Lent
One thing is sure; life is never dull! Life nowadays is 24/7 and we can have anything we want, when we want. Seems like a good thing doesn’t it? A flexible world where we have complete choice over what we do and when. If I want to do my food shopping at midnight I can. If I want to buy some shoes online, while eating left over pizza and face timing my friend in Australia it’s achievable and even on Sunday at 10am! Oh dear that time appears to rule me out as I seem to have made a regular commitment to do something every week at that time.
However I do like the fact that I don’t have to remember to get to the shops before they shut at 5pm anymore or do I?
Sometimes I feel like I am running on empty, reacting to what everything throws at me and I long for some pattern and stability.
It is like the regular beat of your heart or the routine hug and kiss of your child as they go of to school or at bedtime. It makes me feel grounded and rooted to something. It means I am not in a perpetual state of anxiety wondering what I do next.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday on the 6th of March. It lasts for 40 days and is a reminder of Jesus and his journey in the wilderness. Lent derived from the old English word to ‘lengthen’ which pointed to the days getting longer as we look towards new growth at spring. Before plants can grow they need time to be nurtured in the soil.
Lent is a time to take back stability in our lives and to carve back a healthy pattern of prayer and worship. We can start going to worship on a Sunday or we can do it more calmly and regularly rather than rushing to fit it all in. It can mean carving out quiet time to be with God however we find ourselves, to talk, to plead, to laugh, to cry, to invite him into our space and watch how the Spirit moves us as we carve out this time.
On Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent we reflect on what it truly means to be human, to give ourselves back and to be forgiven, to create a new pattern. One that feeds our soul, calms and heals our minds and enables us to feel at peace, accepted and loved.
As the deer longs for the water brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God. My soul is a thirst for God, even for the living God.Psalm 42
The Ash Wednesday Service in the round on Wednesday 6th March at 12.30 is a meaningful way to mark the start of Lent, receive the imposition of ashes and your Lenten heart. Community cafe is open after the service.
Rev. Mell Jemmett