Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 6th. Originally, in the early Church, Lent was a time of preparation for those who were to be baptised at Easter. As time went by, it also became a time of preparation for those who were to be restored to the Church’s fellowship, at Easter, from which they had been separated through sin. But, wisely, it became appreciated that we all need a time of repentance and renewal in our spiritual lives. And so all Christians began to take part in Lent, preparing themselves inwardly for Easter, the greatest of Christian festivals.
Lent is modelled on the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert. As he prepared for his ministry, Jesus listened to what God was calling him to do and he resisted the various false paths that presented themselves to him. He fought against temptation and evil. So Lent is a time of listening and of fighting temptation.
We listen by reading and studying the Bible more regularly, and by committing ourselves to the practice of daily prayer and meditation. We resist temptation by opening ourselves to the grace of God given us in the sacraments and by making more of an effort to live the gospel teaching of charity and self sacrifice.
Modelled on Jesus’ forty days in the desert, Lent is our own time in the desert. A time to be alone with God. A time to renew ourselves. Do join us for the moving ceremony of the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, either at 9.30 am in the Parish Room at Christ Church, or at Saint Giles at 7.30 pm that evening. It is a day when we begin our journey back to God.