From The Manse

Dear Friends,

We are in the season of Lent, the period of forty days (not including Sundays) leading to Easter and the wonderful celebration of our Lord’s triumphant resurrection.

Lent comes from the ancient English word for ‘lengthening’. It refers to the lengthening of days at this time of year and the new life which emerges around us during the season of Spring.

Forty is a significant number for Christians. The people of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years in search of the promised land and Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness before his public ministry began. During that time he was tempted by Satan to turn from the path he was on but Jesus remained steadfast and did not yield.

I believe Lent affords us the opportunity to reflect on our own journey of faith and life. It provides us with time to think about our relationship with God and to renew our commitment to serve him in our daily lives.

In Lent, some people give up eating their favourite food. In other words, they fast, and that can be a good discipline as we contemplate all that Jesus has done for us, not least in giving up his life that we might live. Many, however, see this sacred season as a time to do more in order to show our gratitude to God for all that we have and the blessings he bestows upon us.

What things might we do?

Give time to help a friend or neighbour who is struggling.

Support a good cause that will benefit those less fortunate than we are.

Spend time with someone who lives alone and may be lonely.

Send a card to someone who is going through a hard time.

Set aside more time for prayer and contemplation.

Encourage a person who lacks confidence.

Invite someone to join us at Church.

Study one of the Gospels and reflect on what it is saying to us.

The list is, in fact, endless and I believe that by doing more, Lent can be an enriching time, a time that ensures we are better prepared to celebrate again the new and abundant life that is ours through Jesus who died but rose again and is alive for evermore!

With every blessing for Lent and Easter,

Gary

The Rev Gary J McIntyre