The season of Lent this year begins on Wednesday 6th March (Ash Wednesday). Lent represents the forty days (in practice a few more than forty) leading up to Easter, and is traditionally a time of heightened awareness of sin, often with a degree of self-denial, in order to focus on our relationship with God.
This year I don’t have particular plans for us to deny ourselves food and drink, but I want us to take the opportunity to focus on relationship with God in one very positive way, by setting aside ten minutes each day for personal devotion through Bible reading and prayer. I believe every single one of us can find those ten minutes a day if we want to. We will be reading 1 and 2 Peter.
Several things are going to happen to help us with this challenge:
- You can buy your own Bible (New International Version, which is the translation we use in church) from the stall in the Parish Room.
- We’re producing a booklet with the passages printed together with some reflection questions and prayer suggestions.
- There will be a special seminar on Ash Wednesday evening, after 7.00 pm communion, called Making the Most of Devotions. This will give us an introduction to 1 and 2 Peter, with some practical hints on reading the Bible privately. Presenters are Kat Cowell and myself. Kat will show us in a very practical way how she seeks to make the most of her own quiet time in the Bible. I will give an orientation to the very interesting letters of Peter.
I am hoping that the seminar will encourage plenty of us to make it to Ash Wednesday communion, and that communion will encourage many to make it to the seminar! For those who cannot get out at night, the whole seminar will be repeated on Thursday morning a week later, 14th March at 10.00 am.