Why is Lent important to me?
Lent is here again. It seems early – yesterday there was a serious threat that the clergy’s annual
humiliation entry in the town’s pancake race might be snowed off. To be fair, they do handicap themselves by racing in full fig – cassocks flowing, birettas flying – but this year they did manage to beat at least one team.
From yesterday’s light-heartedness then to the serious business of Ash Wednesday. We were reminded on Sunday that all loyal Anglicans would be in church today. I made it to the noon service and found myself in good company, kneeling behind +Alan, amongst about 60 folk. There will have been a lot more this evening for the Choral Eucharist. Maybe not all of the Abbey congregation, but a fair proportion.
This led me to ponder – why do we find Lent important? I was helped by two posts I read online today. Firstly, Maggi Dawn’s reflection “Remember that you are but dust” reminded me that ashing reminds us of our own mortality, and thence the challenge as to what we do with the time we have left on Earth. Secondly, Beth Routledge’s “From dust you came” made me think even more about Ash Wednesday being about us, rather than God. And the words she quotes from Walt Whitman’s text for the Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony were beautiful.
And so to some Lenten discipline. Today we are called “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.” Blogging about fasting and self-denial is probably as unhelpful for me as it is for anyone reading. I did, however, find that writing for the Advent Book Club helped me form my thoughts and prayers far more than just reading alone.
So – I am hoping to dip in to the #BigRead13. In amongst reflecting on some of their posts, I’m hoping to find time to read a couple of other books and may share some thoughts on those.