As we approach the season of Lent in 2021 most of us are probably more uncertain about how the immediate future will unfold than we have ever been in our lives. Yet Lent is here again as it was last year and as it will be in years to come.
The late Henri Nouwen described Lent as a time to re-focus and to re-enter a place of truth. It is here where we find our true identity. This says that Lent is a time for reflection. This can be done with little structure. Some people may give things up for Lent, others start something new.
Whatever we do, it should prepare us for Holy Week which starts with Palm Sunday when we mark the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, then the Last Supper, the betrayal, the trial and the crucifixion. All events that must not be glossed over. All were necessary precursors of Easter Day.
These are just some ideas:
There is our regular worship on Sundays at 0800 and 1000. We hope to return to church on Sunday 7th March but we plan to continue to broadcast this using Zoom as people may still be reluctant to gather in groups.
There will be an Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday 17th February at 7.00pm, using Zoom. Details will be sent out early next week.
I hope that our services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday will be in church.
Many alternatives are available for those who prefer individual reflection. I still have some copies of the Church of England daily mediation for Lent entitled God’s Story, Our Story. Each day offers a short Bible reading, a reflection and prayer. If you would like one of these, please let me know and I will drop it off or put it in the post.
There are many Lent books. One that comes recommended is Joseph by Meg Warner. It shows how understanding Joseph’s story helps develop resilience. It is out of print but second-hand copies are available as are ebooks
Join the Lent Course
This year we are running “Why Pray?” (https://prayercourse.org/), a course that aims to help you to be better at hearing God’s voice, to experience more of His presence, to process some of your previous disappointments in prayer, and to unlock the power of prayer.
Howard shall be hosting this for the whole benefice on Zoom. We shall start together with an introduction and video. We will then discuss the theme of the week in “breakout rooms” before coming back together to finish. You can choose whether to join in for these one hour sessions on Tuesdays at 2pm, or on Thursdays at 7.30pm. The usual Zoom login procedures apply.
Have a good Lent,
Love and peace to you and your family