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 26th February 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
Our Lent course this year will run each Wednesday in Lent (excluding Holy Week) and starts on 4th March. There will be two sessions: 11.00am and 7.30pm.
The course will be based on Rev’d Mark Scarlata’s 2019 book Sabbath Rest. Having the text is not essential but, for those who would like to purchase it, the full publication details are: Sabbath Rest: The beauty of God’s rhythm for a digital age by Mark Scarlata (2019; SCM Press; IBSN 13: 978-0-334-05806-9).
(It is available from Church House Bookshop https://chbookshop.hymnsam.co.uk/ amongst other retailers.)
Holy Week: 6th to 12th April
At the end of Lent there is Holy Week – the week leading to Easter (6th – 12th April) when there will be something happening every day. See our Holy Week and Easter 2020 page for further details.