Living Lent – Day 1

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

I met someone in Shirley the other day and their bags were laden with shopping. On closer inspection it was clear that the vast majority of the contents were cleaning products. “I’m off to do a spring clean!” came the cheerful reply.

So is that what LENT is for? A spring clean?
Is it about cleaning ourselves up?
Is it about giving something up?
Taking up a positive challenge?
Getting into better habits?

Each of us will come up with our own preferences on that I’m sure.

The most important thing, I guess, is to use these next forty days in whatever way we can that is beneficial to us.

I’m also mindful in today’s prayer for our community that we are thinking about “babies under the age of one.” As I wait with anticipation for the arrival of our first grand child, I am keenly aware that babies remind us of family heritage and new beginnings.

So as we think about and pray for new life Jesus reminds us that anyone can be born again and have new life in him.

The book I am using as part of my own LENT devotions is Peter Graystone’s book ‘Detox Your Spiritual Life in 40 Days’. It uses the analogy of a detox to think about cleaning up our spiritual life and practices.

He reminds us that God is the one to whom we are taking everything during this period and as an encouragement adds that God “has infinite patience” to listen to you as you reflect on the state of your health – physical, emotional, and above all spiritual.

So take a risk and be honest with Him about everything that would be too dull, difficult or dangerous to tell anyone else. And do it in 40 days!

Ponder… If no-one knows how much you give to charity, or pray, how do you keep yourself accountable to playing your part in the big map of God’s world, rather than your small one?

Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY Pray for babies under the age of one, especially those who come along to the NCT Bumps and Babes group that runs here. FOR THE WORLD Pray for new born babies throughout the world, especially for those being born into poverty or in places in the world where their safety is at risk.

Act… Think about something you have done wrong and say ‘sorry’.