Many people will give up something for Lent. Perhaps this Lent, we could look at this a little differently. Usually we give up something we love in Lent and look forward to being able to doing/eating it again once Easter Sunday comes along. Perhaps we could give up something in Lent that we don’t like about our lives and keep giving it up as part of the ‘new life’ we are offered in the joy of the resurrection. For example, deciding to stop saying or doing things that reinforce a negative view of ourselves. Or perhaps altering our attitude towards something in our life that we don’t like, but are currently unable to change. One of the most inspirational aspects of my ministry is to see the amazing things that people in our congregation achieve when they set their mind to it. It may involve giving up some things in order to make way for new activities or relationships. The most important thing that people have to give up in order to do a new thing is the phrase “I can’t”.
The worship theme this Sunday is “Giving up – the prelude to change”. In order for change to happen, there has to be a space, a gap, a willingness on our part, a ‘bit of give’. We can’t open our hands to receive whatever God has in store for us, if we are clinging on to old ways and unhelpful habits. What needs to give in your life to enable you to live more fully, more joyfully, more spiritually? It doesn’t have to be a huge step or a grand gesture. It could just be as simple as saying “Thank you” when someone pays you a compliment, instead of trying to brush it off or turn it into something negative. Ash Wednesday reminds us of the frailty of our human existence. It is a good time to take stock and make sure that ‘we like what is in our closet.’ I wish you a blessed and powerful Lent.