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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

6 March 2019: Rev'd Stephen Wright, Petersfield Methodist Church

Lent: it’s not just about giving up chocolate

With dry January and Veganuary well behind us, we can still look forward to campaigns which play with the name of the month.

With Movember well established, perhaps the same will soon be true of Steptember and Socktober.

Love or loathe it, linking causes with a time of the year seems an increasing trend among campaigning organisations. It can hardly be said to be a new idea, today we embark on an extremely ancient linkage of time and behaviour. Even in a secular age, many of us will still consider what we might give up for Lent.

As modern campaigns emphasize, there are benefits for changing our lifestyle. It is also not a bad idea to break free from some of those things that otherwise control us, if only to prove that they don’t!!!! For all this, Lent and some other ‘change your lifestyle’ seasons, can still seem rather negative, (stressing what we ought not do, rather than what, positively, we can do).

As it happens, Lent, at least, doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, Christians of all traditions, tend to see Lent these days as a time to do stuff, be it to read, to act, to pray or to join special groups; all in an effort to improve their spiritual lives and get closer to God.

Other goals we might set ourselves do not have to be about giving up either. Steptember is about attempting to walk 10,000 steps a day for a month, Lent could be about doing something similarly positive, being a more courteous driver or being a better friend or neighbour, for example.

But with all these things, the ultimate aim, is that we will change, not just for a season, but for life.


The next Petersfield Christian Men's Group meeting will be on Monday 11 March at The Salvation Army hall, Swan Street - all men are welcome

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