Lent

What is Lent?
Lent is a season of preparation leading up to Easter.  For centuries, it has been observed as a special time of self examination and penitence as we follow Jesus on the Way of his Cross. In the first centuries of the Church,  Lent was in particular a special time for preparation for Baptism and   Confirmation (one Service) on Holy Saturday Evening . So through Lent we pray especially for all those preparing for Confirmation, for all the newly baptised and for all members of the Church that each of us together may grow in holiness. 

From a Sermon given by the Bishop of London:
Lent is the springtime of the Church year, a period of preparation for Easter. God's gift to us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the sending of the Spirit is life in all its fullness, but we know that there remains an undertow in daily life which carries us away into negativity and forgetfulness. Our lives become old again. We need an annual review.

Perhaps, however, it is not so strange that Lent has not caught the  popular mood. Centre stage for contemporary gurus is the individual consumer of life operating on his own profile and image to produce a trimmer, more effective figure. If a person takes up religion in this mood, then it is because God is an asset in this process.

By contrast, the Christian faith promises new life; life in all its fullness to those who open themselves up to God, emptying themselves so that they can be filled with the life that flows from the Godhead.

The Christian Lent is not a time for reinventing the self by a supreme effort. It is a time for opening up to God and seeing through some of the shadows inside us. Jesus the Anointed One faced a crescendo of temptations from desert, to temple wall, to high mountain. He saw through the daydreams about power and possession and emerged equipped by the Spirit for his work. Lent is an opportunity for Springtime cleansing and we can encourage one another in observing it.

 


An Ever Circling Year
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