It's the start of Lent this week - forty days that echo Jesus' own forty days in the wilderness, facing temptation as he prepared for his earthly ministry. For us, it's a time of preparation for Easter through self examination and confession of all those things that separate us from God. Maybe we're choosing to give something up for Lent, or to take something up: reading more of the Bible, or a Christian book, or maybe joining in the SHAPE course!
There's a sense in which the season resonates with how things are at the moment, a sense in which we're all in a bit of a dry desert place, where the things that enable us to flourish best are missing - close human community being the main one. Back in the third century, the desert fathers and mothers actually went into the desert specifically to seek more of God in their lives . The barrenness and difficulties of the wilderness pushed these men and women to trust more completely in God and helped them to seek God and be found by Him.
Let's pray that this Lent, when the sense of being in the wilderness is greater than many of us have previously experienced, might prompt us, too, to seek God, knowing that we will be found by Him.
Here's the rest of the Newsletter 110221