Did you enjoy your pancakes? We hope that next year we can have our usual pancake celebrations with races and lots of toppings. Of course, Shrove Tuesday leads us into Ash Wednesday and Lent which reminds us of Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness being tempted. Our journey through Lent will have activities inspired by the Church of England’s #LiveLent series. You can find out more on their website.
Our reading this week is part of a reading for Ash Wednesday and talks about fasting. It is very short and you will find it in your Bible in Matthew 6:16-18.
Fasting traditionally means going without food but it can mean doing without other things. We are reminded in the reading that the point of doing without something is for this time to be different; to make us mindful of God and our journey with him rather than boasting about what we have given up.
Do you enjoy going to wild places? Maybe walking up mountains or in areas of natural beauty? Or do you enjoy being by yourself for a while?
‘The Wilderness’ can describe places in the world where human activities have not changed the landscape. If you like maps you can look at this link to see where places of real wilderness still exist (there aren’t very many). Some people still choose to live in wilderness places in sustainable ways.
‘The Wilderness’ can also describe the way people feel. They can feel that they are distant from God and there are many different reasons for this. We know that, even if we feel distant from God, he is never distant and is caring for us all the time. Jesus spent time in ‘the wilderness’ being tempted but he was never alone there. God took care of him all the time.
Bishop Helen-Ann was on Songs of Praise on Sunday afternoon. She was talking about Lent and suggested that, rather than giving up anything in this year when we have all given up so much, we should do something positive to show the love Jesus has for us.
If you would like to do this, we have made some suggestions here. Write what you are going to do for Lent on a sticky note or piece of paper and stick it somewhere that you will see it every morning. Make it a challenge but don’t take on too much. It is better to do something smaller really well.
We are going to use playdough for one activity in each week of Lent. If you have some already, that is great, but there is a recipe here which uses simple ingredients that you have at home. It is fun to make your own. Remember that if you mix your colours, you will end up with a boring brown lump!!!! If you store your home made playdough in a sealed box in the fridge, it should last for the whole of Lent.
This week we have been thinking about Lent as a journey where we are following Jesus towards Holy Week and Easter. Use your playdough to make lots of little footprints, set them up on a journey and take a photo of the result.
We could use this prayer from Rhythm of Life to end our activities this week:
You notice each one of us and care about all that we are. We give thanks for the uniqueness of everyone, their skills and talents, the things they enjoy, the worries they face. Help them to find direction and purpose in their living, loving and learning together, so that they can achieve all that you hope for them.
Enjoy the rest of half term. Have a break from school work, do some practical things and remember to get some fresh air while the weather is a bit warmer this week.
Alison and Angie