It seems no time at all since Christmas –all that busyness and celebration.
I’d like to say thank you to all those who helped to make Christmas so enjoyable – those who contributed in so many ways to the way our churches looked and the smooth running of events! We should be aware that some people do a lot which is unseen by others! I have had many positive comments about the various services and other events. It was a pity the weather made our outdoor carol singing impossible, but there is always next year.
Now the Church’s year hurries on and we approach Lent again. February 18th is Ash Wednesday! This year it is upon us rather early. It seems that now that the Christmas season is over, things return to “normal” – and this can seem very bleak and grey at this time of the year. We are experiencing our own period of dark and cold! But, like the bulbs, we are not dead. We can be preparing, during this quieter time, for when the spring comes and everything seems to come back to life. If we use the season of Lent properly then it will help us to prepare ourselves for the great festival of Easter, which we celebrate this year at the beginning of April.
Lent is so often seen, both by churchgoers and those outside as a season when we give things up. I wouldn’t dispute the value of that, but it is rather a negative way of looking at things. I would rather encourage everyone to take up something for Lent. That could be attending church more regularly, or coming to something extra (such as the Churches Together Lent lunchtime sessions on the Tuesdays in Lent – further details to follow), or spending more time in prayer etc. Or it could be visiting someone who is lonely, taking more time for others. Perhaps you could think about doing something new in church – maybe joining the readers rota, or doing the prayers, or flower arrangers group………! There are many opportunities.
Whatever you decide, I’d like to urge you to make a good start to Lent by coming along to the service on Ash Wednesday, February 18th at 7.30pm at St Thomas’.