Pause for Thought February 2018

lentYes, but what do you actually do?

The trouble with Easter is that it moves around our calendars every year following the moon. This means that Shrove Tuesday and Lent move around too. This year they are early because Easter Sunday is on April 1st. The beginning of Lent falls during the School half term break – nevertheless Barnack School will still have pancake races before they break up.

Lent is a time when many people examine what they actually need and will give up things for the forty days of Lent. January is fast becoming a month when people give up alcohol. Other people abstain from Facebook or similar things for a given length of time.

One church I was involved with issued the Lent 40-challenge. Church members were challenged to do positive things for forty days, or do forty positive things. Some offered hospitality to 40 people during Lent. Some wrote encouraging and appreciative letters to 40 people during Lent. Some did a 40 mile cycle ride and were sponsored for good causes.

I like that, because in a world were the church has often been defined both by itself and by non-Christians by the things it doesn’t do, being seen to be positive is great. Here is what we do rather than what we don’t do. Although in Lent we remember Jesus fasting for 40 days in the desert, so much of his life in the Gospels is about his generosity, his extravagance, someone who livened up parties.

It’s a good discipline to practice abstinence from time to time, but it is important to be known for our positive attributes and contributions. I would like to be known more for what I’ve done than always being defined by what I don’t do.

Wishing you a positive Lent,

Rev Dave Maylor

“Pause for Thought” this month comes from Rev Dave Maylor

Rector of Barnack with Ufford, Bainton, Helpston & Wittering


Telephone: 01780 740234