Lent is a time for opening ourselves to God’s grace: the free gift of his love.
Lent isn’t about punishing ourselves, nor about God punishing us. It isn’t about making ourselves worthy of God. And (thank goodness) Lent is definitely not about us showing each other how very holy we are!
No, Lent is simply about our openness to grace: that free gift of love and mercy given to us by God because God wills us to have it, not because of anything we’ve done to earn it!
It’s grace that all the practices associated with Lent – repentance, fasting, alms-giving, study, reconciliation – are intended to open us to. Or, to put it another way: openness to grace is the true purpose of repentance, fasting, alms-giving, study, and reconciliation.
Lent begins on the 6th March with two services for Ash Wednesday (10.00am and 7.30pm). This is a significant day in the Christian year, and these are important and moving services to which all are warmly welcome. ‘Ashing’ will take place at both services: as a cross of ash is marked on our foreheads, we hear the poignant words: ‘Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return; turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ’.
So consider how you might use this Lent to open yourself to God’s grace in new ways:
- Why not join our lent course?
- Try to read the Bible every day, or on a regular basis (ask about Bible reading notes)
- Come to a mid-week service
- Read a good book – we’ve a library at church!
- If you’re giving something up for Lent – why not put the money you save towards a good cause?
- Volunteer your time to do something for someone else
Lent Course: Life Attitudes
Christian life is about what and who we are, just as much as it is about what we believe. One particular passage of the New Testament has always been crucial to thinking about Christian life: the ‘Beatitudes’, Jesus’s teachings in Matthew 5.3-10.
Our lent course for 2019 – called, Life Attitudes – is an engaging and accessible reflection on these Beatitudes and how they can shape our real lives in the real world. It’s not an academic course, you don’t need to know it all already, and there’s no test(!) – each session will be a relaxed, fun and stimulating gathering open to everyone.
We’ll be running two sessions in Church each Wednesday from 13th March – one at 11am in the morning and another at 7.30pm in the evening. The course runs for five weeks.
You are free to come to some or all of the sessions as works best for you, of course. There’s no need to book, but it would be very useful to get a rough idea of how many we might expect at each session – so if you could please email email@example.com, we’d appreciate it.
You don’t need a copy of the book to take part, but if you like to have one to follow, then they are available from Church House Publishing at www.chpublishing.co.uk or by phoning 01603 785925. Just ask for Life Attitudes by Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield.
Holy Week: 15th to 21st April
At the end of Lent there is Holy Week – the week leading to Easter (15th – 21st April) when there will be something happening every day. Watch this space for further details soon.