Hundred River & Wainford Benefice
From the Revd Martin Allwood in Yorkshire
I don’t know about you but for some reason this winter seems to be dragging on, but there is hope. Small signs of life are beginning to appear in the form of buds on trees and snowdrops, daffodils and other bulbs pushing their leaves up through the soil, reminding us that Spring will soon be with us. As the physical seasons change, so the Church calendar does too. We barely finish Christmas and Epiphany when suddenly Lent is upon us. There is little time to change gear from the joy and celebration of Christmas to being, once again, made aware of our own faults and need of redemption in the Lenten readings. This month we begin our Lenten journey on Wednesday, 14 February with Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of Lent when we prepare to remember the trauma of Holy Week, the horror of the crucifixion of Christ on ‘Good Friday’, and then share the joy and amazement of the disciples, as Jesus reveals himself in risen glory on Easter Sunday. Lent is a great time to take stock of our lives, our actions and their impacts on others so that, as we experience God’s grace to us, we may become a blessing to others.
God bless, Martin
REFLECTION FOR LENT 1
Lent. A season of penitence and fasting in preparation for our Lord’s passion and resurrection
We are invited, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.
Bishop Martin, in his video blog with Bishop Mike says:
‘I always find it slightly strange that we focus on what we’re going to give up or what we’re going to take up rather than what the purpose is, which is how do we deepen our life with God, which is about growth in discipleship, growth in faithfulness, … ‘
Drawing on his experience from the Bishops Lenten Pilgrimage last year, he goes on to say that our Lenten fast should in a way disrupt our daily life:
‘What we need to be thinking about is how do we disrupt our life in Lent to such an extent that we encounter God differently, that we encounter other people differently …’
As we consider what is to be the focus of our own Lenten fast, may that focus disrupt our lives to such an extent that we encounter our God and our neighbours in new and different ways.