The fact that today is Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) means two things, first it gives a great excuse for me to enjoy my favourite toppings, usually golden syrup or brown sugar, on one of Angelas wonderful pancakes – but also it means that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which in the Christian calendar marks the start of Lent.
Lent is that time when we start to focus our attention towards Easter and everything it means for us and the world, it’s also a time that many of us use to draw closer to God through reflection, fasting and whatever else motivates us. The idea of fasting, or “giving things up” for Lent is one of three key elements that all sit side by side throughout the forty days, these are:
Fasting: (Which might include stopping eating chocolate or meat, or even nowadays giving up using facebook or texting). Prayer: (Perhaps by following a special lent series, or going on a retreat). Charitable giving: (Over and above any giving that would normally be done throughout the rest of the year).
Lent is also a time that can be used to start new habits and ways of living – perhaps by committing ourselves to increasing our re-cycling, or by cutting down on the amount of water or energy we use.This year we’ve taken a family approach to Lent with us all signing a shared approach to a mix of things we intend to stop and start throughout Lent in 2012.
“The Waterfield Family Lent Agreement 2012: This year for Lent each of us agrees to the following things – we are doing this to hopefully make us think about the things we have been blessed with, and to help us focus on living healthier and in ways that are better for us and the planet. All these things we do with and for our God who loves us.
- Nick will be following the Christian Aid “Count Your Blessings” series.
- Nick & Angela will NOT be eating any chocolates or sweets or cakes for the whole of Lent.
- Imogen will be reading at least 15-20 minutes each day – and doing so knowing that some people in the world have no books at all to read.
- As a family we will buy NO takeaways during Lent.”
Maybe you’ve made your own Lent promises, if you want to share them with just leave a comment here.