St. Bartholomew’s Kirby Muxloe
Lent is beginning late this year, as Easter Sunday (April 21st) is within three days of its latest possible date. We begin with the usual Wednesday service of Holy Communion in church at 9.30 am on March 6th, Ash Wednesday, where we will have the sign of the cross marked on our foreheads in ash. With this come the sobering words, ‘Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return – turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ’. It’s a call to remember we are mortal – finite. We have a limited time to live effectively, and, without getting over stressed by the challenge, we are to make best use of the days that we have. The forty days (and six Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter Day give us a specific window of opportunity to act for renewal and refocus and recommitment … it’s long enough to be valuable and short enough to be achievable. In church, we choose to commit 90 minutes or so a week to meet (mostly on Tuesday evenings), for reflection, discussion and prayer. We will be looking at a study aid from York Courses, titled “Daring to see God now” and based on the Gospel of Mark. A reviewer writes, “It is designed to help people dare to see God in their own lives and those around them. There are good questions to be asked – Do you feel loved by God? Does Jesus always deliver what you expect? And more. The recorded conversations are lively. You may not always agree with what is being said but that starts conversations…”.
It’s all been put together by Nick Baines the Bishop of Southwark, who some may remember was formerly the Rector of Rothley. The first evening will be in church on Tues 12th March from 7.30pm . At our Wednesday Communions through Lent we’ll also be drawing on an accessible Lent book titled, ‘At Home in Lent’ – an exploration of Lent in 46 objects - by Gordon Giles. This uses everyday household items to aid our spiritual reflection… We often think of Lent as a time to give things up – and this is usually a valuable discipline in our consumerist culture. But these ‘aids for Lent’ lead us to think of taking things up … of committing to doing something tangible and practical as an expression of our Christian identity. And this too will be immensely valuable in the impact it will have, both on the world we serve and on ourselves as we develop as everyday Christians. Have a great Lent! Tom