I hope you are well and managing to cope with, not only the restrictions of lockdown but also the recent wintry weather.
Next week sees the beginning of Lent. Lent is normally a time for both personal reflection and self-denial. However, many of us may well feel that the months of restrictions due to lockdown have imposed their own level of self-denial with freedom of movement and the opportunity to meet family and friends being greatly limited.
Traditionally Lent is held as a time of personal and spiritual growth. A time when we can seek to increase our awareness of God and renew our spiritual lives.
For some this is a time of self-denial and discipline. It can, however, also be a time when, rather than give something up, we try to do something more. It can be a time when we seek to set ourselves a regular pattern of prayerful devotion, of regularly reading the scriptures. It can be a time when we look outwards to the needs of others rather than inward to the needs of self.
We are all living in difficult and challenging times and none of us needs any additional stress and strain. However, this does not mean that journeying through Lent cannot be a positive experience.
The Collect for Ash Wednesday speaks of Lent being a season of penitence and faithfulness. It reminds us that Lent can be a time for personal and community growth as we travel with our Lord through the wilderness of temptation the trials of the Cross and His triumph over death with the joy of New Life.
Collect for Ash Wednesday
O, Lord, grant that your faithful people may enter this season of penitence with faithfulness, and complete it with steadfast devotion; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
With my prayers and best wishes to you all