The season of Lent – a time to think about our “spiritual” life
Writing this in January, it doesn’t seem long since we took down the Christmas decorations but already the Easter eggs are in the shops!
(Please can I encourage you to think about buying a “Real Easter Egg”? These are made with Fairtrade chocolate – so child slave labour on cocoa plantations has not been used. And they contain an Easter story booklet – rather than some of the other eggs that have no relevance to what we celebrate at Easter. Have a look at www.realeasteregg.co.uk or some larger branches of Tescos, Morrisons and Waitrose will be stocking them.)
But before Easter, we have the six weeks of Lent, with lots of things going on where we would love to see you! It is when we traditionally give things up as a test of self-discipline and to remember Jesus’ time of tempation in the desert before beginning his work for God. Instead of giving things up, why not try to do a good deed each day, in order to make a difference?
Lent is preceded by Shrove Tuesday – a time when people used up the foods they would not be eating during Lent. On Tuesday 9th February, we are having a Pancake Party in Stockton Church between 5.00 and 7.00pm.
We will mark the beginning of Lent with an Ash Wednesday Communion Service on Wednesday 10th February in Priors Marston Church at 7.30pm. During the service we are marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign of saying sorry to God for our wrong-doing.
We also try to put aside more time in Lent to pray – again, following Jesus’ example. We are running “Soul Spark”, a special Lent course. This gives us an opportunity to attend to our soul – to pray, to reflect and to explore different perspectives of our spiritual life and relationship with God. The course will run as six 2 hour sessions, starting on Wednesday 17th February at 7.30pm in Napton Church. (Each session is “stand alone” so it doesn’t matter if you can’t get to them all.)
And throughout Lent, we will also be having our annual Lent Lunches – see elsewhere in the magazine for details of all these events.