My spiritual director once said to me, 'perhaps this lent could be a spa of rest for your soul'.
Lent is the time where we Christians remember Jesus in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights without food where he was tempted and tested.
I want to live in the joy, praise and resurrection of Easter and in the past I have struggled with worship during lent. But this lent enables us to hold the pain, trauma and grief that we will inevitably go through and acknowledge it rather than suppress it. Then we can recognise how we are ultimately transformed through the love of Christ into a new resurrection identity.
Over time I've come to value lent in new ways. It's a place where we focus time and commitment. It enables us to step back from the usual habits and distractions and give particular attention and space for God.
I guess I don't always give up the traditional things as a consequence. In a culture obsessed with beauty I once challenged myself to give up makeup and another year my hair straighteners. A simple challenge not to depend on these things, an outward restraint can be a symbol of inner attention.
Other years my life has been so full of noise, a lent away from social media has been the place where I've tried to create some quiet without the constant companion of filtered smiles.
And there have been the traditional years of fasting and prayer. A friend told me she was going to give up single use plastics and buy nothing new for the whole of lent.
I guess my question is:
- what would be something that would change your daily habits?
- And how might we use lent to draw closer to God?
To read all the articles in newsletter 7, click here.