Like you, I’m sure, at Mildmay Mission Hospital, we look forward to the longer, warmer days when we can sit comfortably in our gardens again. As we wait, we enter into the Season of Lent, walking with Christ as He faced his passion and death, preceding the great feast of Easter.
We are reminded of our own times of wilderness, uncertainty, challenge and doubt. In last Sunday’s Gospel, read in countless churches around the globe, we contemplated the temptations of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 4:1-11, as Jesus was tempted to give up or distort his mission, we too reflect on the fact that we, too have a mission to fulfil in our lives, ‘making a difference’ and sharing the joy of the gospel.
As human beings (not human ‘doings’!), perhaps we need to reflect on this message during this second week of Lent. The three temptations of Jesus may be used to recognise the ways in which we are tempted.
Notice that it is only at the end of Jesus’ temptations that we are told that ‘suddenly angels came and waited on him.’ Let’s recognise the angels in our lives who support us when the chips are down and when we are at the end of our tether.
We are invited to use this first week of Lent to acknowledge and thank those in our lives who are always there when we need them most.
Lent is a Christian observance that begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days, ending on Holy Saturday. It is a time of reflection and preparation before the celebration of Easter. During Lent, many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose of Lent is to draw closer to God through prayer and self-denial to renew faith and prepare for the coming of Easter.
Lent is a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penitence in the Christian liturgical calendar, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday.
During Lent, many Christians abstain from certain foods or activities as a form of self-denial.
The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter by focusing on repentance, spiritual growth and renewal.
The length of Lent varies between denominations; some observe it for 40 days while others observe it for 46 days (not including Sundays).
It is believed that the practice of observing Lent originated in the 4th century A.D., although its exact origins are unknown.
Top image: section of Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness by Juan de Flandes