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A Fresh Start in Lent

Snowdrops are here, so Spring is here (kind of). 

Lent (which comes from the word for Spring) began on Ash Wednesday, remembering we are dust without God’s Spirit breathed into us. 

It is a time to reconnect to nature, all our fellow creations made of ash, but also be receptive to God’s Spirit that gives everything life.

Pancake Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) proceeds Ash Wednesday in order to empty the food cupboard (of the good stuff), so you can fast (at least that is how it started).  “Shrove” means to confess to God and rid yourself of things that might hold you back, like regret or shame.  Repenting or confessing allows you to start fresh.

We will spend all of March in Lent, but at the end of the month saying “HE IS RISEN,” as we will be.

Lent is 40 Days.

Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness, fasting and being tempted (Luke 4:1-13). 

Many Christians try to be like Christ and do the same.  The 40 days before Easter was a time for preparing yourself through study and cleansing rituals in order to die with Christ and rise with him, becoming a new person.

There are three main activities during the 40 days of Lent, and they are: Praying, Giving Alms, and Fasting.

Praying - spending more time with God by talking to God, listening to God, reading about God.

Giving – “alms” is giving help to others, being generous, especially to the poor as Jesus was poor too. There are many ways to give others, not just giving money.

For example, you could do one of the following things on each of the days of Lent:

1. do someone else’s chore

2. give someone a hug

3. smile at as many people as you can

4. help someone

5. do something nice for family, friends

6. say something kind to a family member or friend

7. Invite someone different to coffee/tea or to go on a walk with them

8. set aside some of your own money for giving to a charity or food for the foodbank

9. tell someone one thing you like about them

10. make a card or craft for someone

Fasting – giving up something to have more time to spend with God (Pray) and spend time with others (Give alms or help).  Some Christians give up eating a meal or meals on a particular day.  Others give up eating sweets or using electronic devices.

Fasting is about making more time for God and others in your life.

Instead of playing games/reading, or watching TV, spend some time with God by praying or giving help to someone.

Let’s pray now,

Dear God,

Thank You that You are loving and forgiving.

Help us to love people in the same way as You have loved us.

Help us to pray and do good things for others during Lent because we love You. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Rev’d Kevin Highfield


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