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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

29 February 2012: Bill Grace, St Peter's Church, Petersfield

Welcome to Lent!

We cannot have failed to notice that our daylight hours are lengthening. This is the ancient meaning of the word 'Lent'.

I've always been fascinated by colour. Do you remember the days - long ago - when only a very few movies were in "Glorious Technicolour"? And I recall a birthday when I became the proud owner of a box of coloured pencils!

If you're a churchgoer, you'll know that the church has its colours too. The meaning of the joyful whites and golds of Christmas and Easter are obvious, but the colour for Lent is purple. Purple can be considered a sad colour, but it's also a royal colour, the colour for a king.

Starting today, we are entering a period the church calls "Lent". This continues for 40 days (excluding Sundays) until Easter Sunday. Christians see this period as a kind of spiritual journey, but, of course, all our lives are really journeys of one sort or another.

Many people, Christians or not, feel, as a kind of discipline, that they must "give something up" for the period of Lent. But Lent is much more than about "giving up things". It is a time of new opportunities and activities, especially those which remind us of our duty to one another.

So, as we start the period of Lent, the springtime of the year, may this season be a welcome "springtime" for our souls.

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