As I write this letter, I am mindful that Christmas is behind us, and we are looking ahead to Lent and Easter.
However every year we reflect on what Lent means for us as Christians, and as followers of Jesus. Jesus wandered in the desert, wrestling and struggling with what his future might mean for him. For Jesus – and us – it is not just about giving up things we like, but it’s about taking on qualities: God’s qualities.
I found this little Lenten poem in a book, and would like to share it with you:
Fast from fear; Feast on Faith.
Fast from despair; Feed on hope.
Fast from depressing news; Feed on prayer.
Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger and worry; Feast on patience.
Fast from negative thinking; Feast on positive thinking.
Fast from bitterness; Feed on love and forgiveness.
Fast from words that wound; Feast on words that heal.
Fast from gravity; Feast on joy and humour.
(adapted from A Lenten Prayer, by William Arthur Ward)
The poem says very simply what traits we need to ‘fast’ or to remove from our spiritual and emotional diet, and what qualities we need to digest and absorb.
Easier said than done… and God knows that Lent is not an easy time in the Christian calendar. It makes us feel uncomfortable; it highlights our weaknesses.
Nevertheless, it is the Mysterious, Loving and Faithful God who journeys with us, who lays before us the qualities it takes to be a true disciple, and who says to us: ‘Come, follow me‘.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 16: 24-25
Blessings to you all,