Ash Wednesday falls this year February 26th and marks the beginning of Lent, the traditional major season of penitence in the liturgical church year (the minor season being Advent). Its length mirrors the forty days of Jesus’ solitude and fasting in the wilderness. In Lent Christian people have been encouraged to enter a season of self-denial, but also self-examination and as appropriate penitence. Abstinence can be one aspect of Lent (‘What are you giving up for Lent?’) but likewise so can be Engagement: giving renewed focus to practices, disciplines, patterns and habits that we may have neglected but know or hope can play an important part in reviving our spirituality and active discipleship (‘What are you taking on for Lent?’).
Ultimately if and how you engage in Lent is a personal matter. But here’s something with something of an environmental theme that might help you in engaging with Lent.
LOAF for Lent.
One of the traditions or disciplines of lent can be abstinence from food. Last year whilst ministering in Redditch I encouraged people to not so much abstain from food but to reflect deeply on our sourcing of it through challenging them to think LOAF. That is Local, Organic, Animal Friendly and Fair Trade. Those who engaged with it were appreciative, so it makes sense to offer it again (does this count as re-using and recycling?). If you are looking for something to engage with during Lent this might be just the thing. To find out the why and how it is a good thing to use your LOAF as part of discipleship obtain a paper copy of the LOAF for Lent resource from the Church bookshelf, or download it from this blog here.
LOAF for Lent v1 2020 Edition