So it’s Lent any minute now. I am not sure exactly when, I am still quite new to all this but it is Ash Wednesday this week – on Wednesday thrillingly, and I am assuming it starts then. Following on from last year’s enjoyable foray into a Lent Book Pen Wilcock’s The Wilderness Within You (Highly recommended if you haven’t read it before) I have bought another book, this time recommended by the church. It’s called Scandalous by DA Carson and I know nothing about it. There is also something called The Lent School of Faith going on which I would be quite interested in – if only to learn a little bit more. However, I can’t seem to find out anything about it. I have been all over the website and nothing. I don’t want to turn up and find I am sitting in a room full of trainee vicars all laughing like Derek Nimmo. If I have a criticism of the Church of England, taking into account my limited dealings with them so far, it is that they do seem to sing to their own choir a lot. By that I mean, everyone who is a regular churchgoer will know exactly what it is but those who haven’t been a part of church since Noah was cajoling animals up a plank, are a bit behind the ball and it isn’t always easy to find out what is happening.
It’s a drum I am always banging I know but we don’t always make it easy for people to join church. I have been to countless meetings and seminars where people have discussed people going in the front door of church and straight out the back. I have sat and listened to people saying things like – if we lift Jesus up people will automatically come and stay. I just think sometimes we could make it a bit easier. It’s all very well going out into the streets and inviting the unlovely to come to the banquet but sometimes you have to show them to their seats as well.
Back to Lent. There are lots of things out there to do. You can commit to send out a positive message each day or there is the 40 Acts challenge. But, working where I work, I see a lot of discrimination against people with disabilities. Apparently this is even more so in certain areas in Africa. The Through the Roof charity takes refurbished wheelchairs to Africa and they are challenging everyone to save £1 a day for the period of Lent. At the end (if you do £2 on Easter Sunday) you should have £42 which will buy a wheelchair. Details are here if you are interested.
Right off to watch Endeavour – very good last week but this one is apparently full of Egyptian Mummies, race riots, one armed cinema ushers and visits from Hollywood. ALL IN 1960s OXFORD! Who knew? I have led a very sheltered life.