We had a wonderful start to Lent gathering for Ash Wednesday. We've put together match boxes like last year with candles for people to use for daily prayers for 40 days, as we pray for our town, and prepare for Easter.
I also wrote a small piece for the prayer packs on what is Lent, as lost of our community have never experienced preparation for Lent before. Text is in continuation below.
Ash Wednesday How Lent can draw us closer to God
Lent is one of those times of year that I used to only associate with giving up chocolate. My church background was such that, Lent was something strange that Catholics and Anglicans did, that had little meaning.
Yet I have been finding just to opposite recently. Over the last few years we have been exploring Lent as preparation for Easter, and what a vital part of our Christian growth it can be.
The idea of Lent is not to give up something but is in fact to do something extra for God, that will help us grow. In that process we might give up something to help with the extra thing we are doing.
In a western consumer society where we are obsessed with ourselves, and overwhelmed by time pressures, Lent seems more vital than ever. Lent is a challenge to take on preparation for Easter, and as we balk at the idea of giving time and energy to something else, we should be faced with the issue of how out of balance our lives are.
The practice of Lent is an annual reminder, and Christian practice, that allows us a church to explore together what is important, and how to practice putting God first in our pressured lives. It is a time to prepare for Easter, so that Easter might be more than a well-earned holiday and break away, and Chocolates and eggs.
Lent is a chance to submit our diaries and lives to the pattern and rhythm of God and not the commercial life of the shops.
Many Christians observe lent simply by bible reading and prayer each day, something simple, yet highly impacting. We are encouraging our church community to explore prayer together and we are providing some resources for Lent, for you that you might want to use.
So weâ€™ll be providing resource packs that focus on 40 days of prayer for the area we live in with things to pray for and simple ways to connect, and ways to remind ourselves of why we are praying.
I hope youâ€™ll join us this Lent, as we prepare together for Easter, and the celebration of Christâ€™s death and resurrection, and see how we might grow in prayer and connection to God and each other.