I wonder whether you are doing something special for Lent. Many people do, even if they don’t quite understand the significance. One of this week’s news items was that Teresa May is giving up salt and vinegar crisps for Lent!
I suppose the tradition of fasting through Lent – through the 40 days of Jesus’ time in the wilderness – is what leads to the idea of, well, not an actual fast, but giving up some things in Lent. Actually the point of the Lenten fast was never supposed to be about the giving up alone. Giving something up is not an end in itself, rather giving something up is a means to a further end. It is intended to be a reminder to think about how we live, it was supposed to be a spur to self-reflection and alongside that to prayer.
Below are some ideas for other things you could do in Lent that might provide this spur to self-reflection and prayer. Can I encourage you to take a look, or if you have something in mind already, to let me know and I can pass your idea on.
Interested in photography? Looking for a project for Lent? Steve Radley, local priest and photographer is hosting a Facebook group called ‘Lent through the Lens’. Join the group for more details or look at the previous post on this blog.
How about the “I’m Not Busy” challenge for Lent? ‘We are addicted to doing one thing after another with as little down-time as possible.’ The ‘I’m not busy’ challenge does not deny pressures, demands or deadlines but aims to help us put them into perspective. Beth is giving this a go. Look it up at www.notbusy.co.uk
Or what about a Lent book? Alison is reading Francis Spufford’s ‘Unapologetic: Why despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense.’ Or for those who like weighty theology, Tom Wright’s new book ’The day the revolution began: Rethinking the meaning of Jesus crucifixion’ may be for you.
For a family activity approach to Lent www.sunhatsandwellieboots.com is worth a look. They have individual activity ideas posted on their blog and a downloadable e-book with ideas of things to do at home with your children or grandchildren for each of the 40 days of Lent. Pick and choose from the week’s activities if every day isn’t practical.
Or take a simple prayer and pray it daily. The diocesan vision says: ‘We pray to be visible and generous people of Jesus Christ.’ That sounds like a good prayer to me!