Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Margaret Preston (1875-1963). Dahlia and sunflower 1933, National Gallery of Australia.
Keeping a good Lent, with Rob Lamerton
Where are our loyalties? We will find out things about ourselves as we face this question and we may not be able to fully commit ourselves! There will however be aspects of our lives which we have been able to deal with and offer to Christ for forgiveness and healing. For every part of us we can surrender to the Lord there will be many parts we cannot. In this time we need to take heart from the steps we have made in our faith We travel on with Christ to the cross and know his healing for those things we have faced and his forgiveness for those times we fail! …
The English word 'Lent' means 'Spring' and of course in the northern hemisphere it is that time of year—a time of coming to life, an emerging from the darkness of winter. Many people who have experienced Easter in England, Europe, or North America testify to the experience of the celebration of the Resurrection in late spring as making sense and having a far greater impact. Somehow I think we would have difficulty changing our Australian calendar to observe Lent and Easter in our spring so we will continue to have the mystery of New Life celebrated as we move into winter! I suppose we could see it as just another way we Australians go 'against the odds'!
Originally a few days of preparation for baptism or re-admission of penitents at Easter the Lenten fast was lengthened to forty days in line with the great fasts of the Bible, notably that of Jesus in the wilderness. That story sets the scene for today and for our approach to this time of preparation for Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus. It recalls the temptations of Jesus in living out his vocation as Son of God and calls us to think about what temptations we face as we live out our vocations as daughters and sons of God!
I encourage you to enter into the spirit of Lent which calls for giving alms, prayer and fasting as ways to develop and deepen our relationship with God and express our willingness to live more faithfully as disciples of Jesus! (Rob Lamerton, St Philip's Pewsheet, 3 February and 9 April 2006)
A Lenten Prayer: How to Fast
Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling within them.
Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with Your Presence, so we can be gift to others in carrying out your work. Amen.
Walter Rodrigues Jr., jazz guitarist, plays "The Saviour Is Waiting," by Ralph Carmichael.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.