The Season of Lent starts this week with Ash Wednesday. Lent is used by many to give up things – biscuits, cake, chocolate, alcohol and so on. Some will decide to do something extra like cutting down on the use of single use plastics. Many within the church community will do extra reading, more times of prayer, or more Bible reading. It all looks very pious.
Lent is, in fact, the time that we use to look at our lives, how can we make them better. For the Christian the question is ‘How can I come to know Jesus better and serve him in all that I do’. To serve Jesus means to love him with all that we are, and to love our neighbour. To love our neighbour means to consider the effect of all our actions on other people and on the world in which we live.
For the Christian, Jesus does not just want us to spend time praying and reading, vitally important though those actions are to guide us in all that we do. He challenges us to live our lives looking at the impact that our actions have on other people and on the resources of our world; then to modify how we behave so that we care for others and value the world in which we live. That is a big order.
The news has been full recently of warnings that we are destroying our planet. We all need to take what steps are in our power to take to limit global warning, to reduce pollution, to preserve habitats. I suggest that Lent comes just as these warnings are fresh in our minds, Can we use this season of Lent to look at how we live and start to live more responsibly? It is a time when we can recognise something which we could do, or not do, and act accordingly.
Whatever our belief system might be, it is good to take time to reflect on the way we conduct our lives. How can we be more responsible members of our families, our local community, of our country and, indeed, of the global community.
May Lent be a time of reflection leading to action for us all.