FOR many of us it may feel like Christmas is only just over, but the Church is already preparing for Easter.
Ash Wednesday on February 10 marked the start of Lent, a season of reflection and self- examination where Christians try to draw closer to God and grow in their faith.
During these six weeks, which culminate in the wonderful Easter festival, many will either give up something or take on something new as a Lenten discipline that helps us focus on God in our lives.
Some will fast for one or more days each week, often giving the money they would have spent on food to an appropriate charity.
This year, those particularly concerned about sustaining God’s creation are asking us to give up electricity for a day each week.
This meas no electronic devices – which could prove a huge sacrifice for some.
It is this sense of sacrifice that reminds of us of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness without food or water being tempted by the Devil.
Those 40 days gave him the strength to begin his ministry knowing how it would end in Jerusalem on Good Friday.
Giving up something for Lent is only beneficial if we then use our time to focus more closely on our walk with God and therefore strengthen our own faith.
And that can mean doing something different through Lent rather than just giving something up.
We may take on a particular Lent study course, with a group or individually.
There is a wide selection of courses available to choose from.
We might decide to spend some quiet time each day praying with a particular focus or for some spiritual reading.
Or we might decide to do a good deed every day to love and help others.
Whatever you decide to do through Lent, I hope it is a positive experience and that you can then come to celebrate Easter – when we remember that Jesus rose from the dead – full of love, joy and peace.
ALL SAINTS CHURCH, Hambledon Road, Denmead, PO7 6NN
Sunday services: 8am: Holy Communion, 9.30am: Parish Communion and 6pm: Evening Service
Contact: Parish office: (023) 9226 8757