Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Today is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. (Sorry for rubbish photo - last minute as usual) I am not really overwhelmed by Lent. I come from a non-conformist background where this sort of thing was not acknowledged at all as it was considered "Papist" or something. Also, there is nothing gets on my nerves more than hearing people say things like "Uh, it's like er Lent so I am like going to see if I can lose some weight." I just think, if you are going to give something up, you should possibly have a look at the spiritual significance? At least put to one side some thinky time - otherwise it's just what is called "a diet".
Some people wear crosses made of ashes on their foreheads which is quite powerful symbolism. I heard that a gay rights Christian movement is selling ashes with glitter in them. I am all for campaigning for what you believe in but this doesn't sit very well with me. Thinking about what we remember happening at the end of Lent - I just think there is a time and a place.
I see that Theresa May held a reception for Christian leaders in 10 Downing Street to commemorate Shrove Tuesday and to say thank you for the work that Christian Communities do in our society. "About time" is the phrase that comes to mind and well done Mrs May for celebrating Christian life in Britain. If I could just respectfully point out that Christian life involves: feeding the hungry, taking in the displaced and healing the sick (not shouting at them that there is nothing wrong with them because they have managed to walk five paces across a room - that does not count as healing). Making sure your government supports these things is maybe another valuable way to celebrate the Christian contribution to society.
So I'm not giving anything up for Lent. I have done it before and it doesn't work for me. I am "doing" a Lent book. The Wilderness Within You." by Pen Wilcock. It looks like it is a tiny chapter a day and I like her writing. Will let you know how this worked at the end. Thank you for your time people.
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