Lent has begun, and our Lent Event studies start this Wednesday.
Traditionally, Lent is a time of repentance. It’s a time to recall what God’s grace towards us cost, and to recognise this is something we can’t earn. It is in our gratitude to God for this unearned gift of Jesus, that we examine our lives, repent of what is wrong, and turn back to God.
One of the signs of repentance can be to “give something up” for Lent. While we may choose practical things to give up – this is really a spiritual discipline. If, for example, you give up chocolate for Lent, the challenge is to look at why you do so. Are you giving it up because it is something easy to give up and you know you’re going to eat lots at Easter anyway? Or are you giving it up because much of the world’s chocolate is produced by slave labour (often child slave labour) – and you are recognising your own complicity in this evil? If you cut back on using your car, is it to give something up, or to recognise the damage your car does to God’s creation?
One of the things Lent Event has done is to remind us of the link between the spiritual discipline of observing Lent, and our concrete action in the world. To say we are sorry is one thing – but to actually act to show that we are sorry is a different matter.
Lent Event reminds us that the world is bigger than us There are many people with needs so great that we here in Brisbane cannot begin to imagine them. And these are also people God gave Jesus for. They are people who are our brothers and sisters, and who we are called to love.
Today we have a guest speaker, Pastor David Livingstone Zijjian, Director of Father’s Divine Love Ministries in Uganda. Among other things, they are responsible for children’s homes. In Australia, we are aware that AIDS still exists, that it is terrible for those who suffer from it, but for most of us it doesn’t touch our lives. In many parts of Africa AIDS is an epidemic, destroying far too many lives. Among the victims are the children who are the children who are left orphaned. (More information about Father’s Divine Love Ministries can be found atwww.dignityafrica.org.)
As we begin Lent, it is a good time to remember the suffering of others – and the responsibility that we, as a part of God’s world, have towards others.
Grace and peace
Dates to note
26 February. Guest speaker David Livingstone Zijjan from Uganda – talking about building children’s homes.
9 March. All annual reports to Julie Hultgren in preparation for AGM.
17 March. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
25 March. 11am AGM.
5 April. 7.30am. Maundy Thursday service.
6 April. 7.30am. Good Friday service.
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.