Message from the chaplain - 12 February 2016

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)

Ash Wednesday (10 February) marked the beginning of the season of Lent, the 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. Lent is a bit like taking your car in for its annual service: perhaps it needs an oil change, or a new set of windscreen wiper blades. Similarly, Lent is a time of “fasting” – giving up something we love or are used to, taking stock of our relationship with God and of how we live this relationship out in the world. Importantly, whatever changes we make during Lent should continue to take effect beyond Easter.

We could fast our time by watching less TV each day so that we can spend more time in prayer, or having a real conversation with our family and friends, or taking an hour out of our day in order to help someone less fortunate than us. We could fast a luxury, eating out less frequently and giving the money we save to a worthy cause, or even showering instead of bathing such that we are mindful of our limited water resources. We could also fast those attitudes that do not help us love our neighbour: not letting ourselves become irritated by that person who needs so much of our attention, for example. Finally, we could fast our convenience: putting more bins in our garage so that we can recycle at source.

This Lenten season, may the Lord bless us with an ever-greater sense of God’s love for us all, and of our dependence on God.