I have decided this year to get involved in Ang’s A Pause in Lent. So I will hopefully be writing about Lent for the next few Sundays. For those that don’t know me this is about the same as Judi Dench deciding to share her wisdom on heavyweight boxing. In fact – having seen her meet Anthony Joshua on Graham Norton – I am thinking that her knowledge of boxing has more depth to it than anything I will be bringing to Lent.
We didn’t do Lent – or any other “Christian” traditions when I was little. (Well we did Christmas because no-one wants to see an eight year old pack her bags and sit in a bus shelter in protest which is what would have happened if the presents and air of forced jollity had not been forthcoming). But we didn’t really do the Anglican/Catholic stuff because – well I’m not sure why really – I think it was to do with “religion” and simplicity and “idol worship”. I was never sure.
I have thought about Lent a couple of times. A couple of years ago I read The Wilderness Within You” by Pen Wilcock which is a fictional Lenten journey with Jesus sort of coming back and being with someone physically. It was about their relationship and I read it in a couple of sittings so I don’t think it counted as a daily Lent journey.
So, leaving no stone unturned for you dear reader, I have looked up things for you. This coming week there will be Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday (It’s on a Tuesday) when people make pancakes to use up the last of their perishable foods before fasting begins. I’m not sure why pancakes – with eggs, butter and flour, I would be looking more in the Victoria Sandwich department I’ll be honest. Then, on Wednesday, there is Ash Wednesday. This is the first day of repentance and fasting and some people wear ashes on their forehead. (I am sorry if I am teaching my grandmother to suck eggs by the way). I will not be doing this as I have suffered a lifetime of older relatives spitting on the corner of hankies and rubbing my face really hard when I had dirty marks on it.
There is something very beautiful about all this but I am not sure it is for me. However, I am thinking that I am going to spend the run in to Easter doing a couple of things. Firstly, I bought a book. “Saying Yes to Life” by Ruth Valerio. This is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book. (If you are going to aim – aim high) Ruth Valerio is a seasoned environmental campaigner and it looks like the book is taking a good look at Christianity and climate change which I could probably do with a good kick up the backside about so that should be good.
Also, the church we attend is doing a text reply thing (as you know, I am a top notch tech person) where they will send you a scripture every day saying something positive and life affirming. The idea is that we spend Lent fasting from negativity about ourselves which is a very good idea I think.
Anyway, that is what I am thinking of doing this Lent. Of course, it’s all happening around life and all that but we shall do our best and soldier on. Are you doing anything for Lent?