A View From The Vicarage, March 2017
As you read this, we’ll just be embarking on the season of Lent, one of the most significant periods in the Christian calendar, preparing us as it does for Easter and the greatest of all Christian festivals.
For many of us I’m sure we connect Lent with the idea of giving things up and indeed this has long been regarded as a significant part of this season. But the idea of “giving up for Lent” is designed to help us to focus on fundamentals and I wonder to what extent we actually do that.
While I was a theological student, we used to travel in to Oxford on Wednesday mornings for lectures. Part of our ritual was to go to the Queen’s Lane Coffee House, the oldest such place in Oxford, before the lectures began. One Ash Wednesday, having decided to give up sugar for Lent, I drank my usual coffee, unsweetened! As someone who enjoys sweetened beverages this was more of a penance than I could manage! For ever afterwards I always drank hot chocolate through Lent; yes it had sugar but I hadn’t put it there!!! I sometimes recollect with some pricks of conscience quite how much of a Lenten discipline that truly was!
Just to prove the point a Carthusian Prior once introduced a kitchen into his Monastery because he discovered that some of his monks were eating raw potatoes while others were spending hours trying to discover the best way to cook a potato! See what I mean?
Maybe what we should do is to change the focus from giving something up for Lent to taking something up for Lent.
We are participating in the Churches Together Lent Course called this year “Receiving Christ”. Details are on our pew sheets, website and there are forms to sign up at the back of Kington Church. Please do consider joining one of these, as part of your Lenten journey this year.
Also this year, we will be holding a sung service of Compline in each Church on Fridays during Lent, each of which will conclude with an address from a member of our ministry team, please do consider attending these.
Whatever you decide to do, please do something! Let’s make this a Lent which provides all of us a precious opportunity to see where God has been leading us in the past and where he is guiding us as individuals and as members of the Christian family in the future.
I’d like to wish you all a holy, blessed and yes happy Lent.
With my love and prayers, as always