Letter from Revd. Rich HendersonFebruary 20, 2015
Spring into Lent
March often sees winter becoming spring and in this month we continue our journey through Lent.
Lent is like – a springtime for our spiritual lives, a time of reflection and renewal as we look forward to the celebration of the Good News of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.
It is not your doing or mine that causes the Spring! That is how the world is made, one season makes way for another. And everything on earth is linked together so that spring “happens” – plants grow; everything gets warmer (hopefully!) as the earth moves closer to the sun, and people cheer up!
Something similar is going on in our spiritual lives. But we have a choice – not of whether spring can happen but whether we allow it to change us. God longs to work in us and with us, so let’s welcome that transformation firstly by being willing to allow God to work rather than insisting on our own independence and then doing what we can, to be in the right place at the right time, for us to be changed by him so that we grow in faith.
The church calendar moves on in Lent. Just as the shops started displaying Christmas merchandise from early summer so too you could buy your Easter eggs before Lent had even started!! We often want to cut out the waiting and jump straight to the main event. But the time of waiting can be such a richly productive one. For many people Lent is associated with giving something up. It is seen as an opportunity, perhaps, for kicking that unwanted habit, for finally going on that long-intended diet, or for denying oneself those unnecessary extra luxuries. All such acts of discipline may have their place, but they give a very one-sided view on this season for, if anything, it should be about taking something on; committing oneself, in the manner of Jesus, to going the extra mile. That doesn’t mean taking work on for work’s sake, rather, it is about resolving to follow Christ more faithfully, a determination to give him our wholehearted discipleship. It might mean more disciplined devotion, perhaps more practical loving service, maybe more effective witness, or possibly the offering of previously unused gifts. Whatever it is, Lent encourages us to give something back to the one who gave us everything.
Consider today what Christ has done for you, then ask what you can do for him, and then use Lent as an opportunity to respond in a way that makes a difference for you.
May we seek to grow deeper in our discipleship this Lent.