Bishop Paul reminds us that what we are experiencing this year with Lent as a kind of lockdown in itself that taken together with the national lockdown we are now experiencing a kind of hyper-Lent. As the Bishop put it Lent can be quite ‘pinched’ at the best of times so lets go easy on the harsh self-disciplines.

Joan from Bramhope Methodist Church sent me this wonderful alphabet acrostic I am grateful to Joan for letting me use this. It is a good example of one way in which we can “Get Creative in Lent”.

Another Lent approaches
Bringing
Challenges.
Does the way I live my life
Equate with my beliefs?
Faith demands action
Go the extra mile.
How can I though?
In lockdown it’s so difficult.
Kindness must be my watchword
Love as He did.
Mark’s gospel to be studied
New insights to be found,
Opening up to the spirit’s promptings.
Pre-conceived ideas may be challenged
Questions will arise.
Re-tracing His journey may be painful.
Sentimentality must be put aside.
The truth of the story should be
Unfolded carefully, honestly
Visions of His sacrifice taken to heart.
We are called to follow His example
X is… a cross, His cross … where he took our
Yoke upon himself, all our sins forgiven.
Zealously I will try to follow that example.

Joan’s poem exemplifies the way in which I would like to spend Lockdown Lent this year: being creative and looking outward. All good preparation for that time when we can live outwardly again. And we can value all this extra time we have to appreciate God’s good creation. As Bishop Paul says, we live in the presence of our awesome God and we can see that in creation all around us.

I wish you all a holy and a happy Lent, a fruitful wilderness journeying.

Tom

Reflection for Lent 17 February