Thought for the Month
One of the things I have come to appreciate as I get older is the significance of the liturgical year. Yes, I still appreciate that every Sunday (indeed every day!) is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but I find that recognising the seasons and taking time to consider different aspects of Jesus' ministry is helpful. Perhaps when I was younger I did this more automatically, but as I age, I find the liturgical calendar helpful to both my prayer life and reflection.
When you are reading this we will be in Lent, which this year runs from 26th February. Lent is the six week period leading up to Easter. It's one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, held at a similar level of importance to Advent - the build up to Christmas. In the past it has perhaps been less observed within the Reformed or Methodist traditions, but taking time to join a Bible Study or just spend more time in prayer in Lent has long been encouraged.
While Advent is a celebration and a time of great anticipation, Lent is more frequently seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Just as we carefully prepare for events in our personal lives, such as a wedding, or birthday, a commencement of Lent invites us to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus' life, death and body resurrection. It is a time of preparation and focus, reminiscent of Jesus' time in the wilderness before he started his public ministry.
So I just wonder what might we all be doing to prepare this Lent? Whatever it may be may you be encouraged in your journey of faith.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up"
1 Thessalonians 5: 11 (ESV)
Rev. Helen Warmington