Last week the media were agog at the rare confluence of a blue moon and a blood moon in eclipse.
This coming Wednesday we have another heavenly confluence. Wednesday, 14th February is both Ash Wednesday and St Valentine’s Day.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40 day period of reflection leading up to Easter, that has been practised by the Christian church since the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
During Lent, many Christians have traditionally fasted from certain foods, or abstained from something that they would normally do, as a means of self-deprivation, designed to make them more thoughtful about the coming season of Easter.
Whether or not you choose to abstain from anything in particular, you might choose to engage in a series of devotions written especially for Lent.
This year, Stewart proposed a series on the Gospel of Mark, and I offered to write it.
I’ve always found it hard to keep up a set reading 7 days a week, so I’m structuring this series a bit differently, despite the discipline of Lent. There will be only five devotions a week from Mark, Monday to Friday, so you can catch up on the weekend if you have been too busy during the week to do it every day. (There is always pardon for those of us who fail our good intentions, thank God!)
For each of the weekends I will write a single devotion that will be related to Mark, but if you miss it, you won’t miss the completion of the series.
By Easter Sunday, if you can stay with it, you will have read the whole of the book of Mark, and reflected on each section that you have read. The reading of the scripture passage and the reflection should take you less than 15 minutes a day.
Are you in?
If you are interested in following this series, you can do so in any of three ways.
1. You can have them emailed to you each day of Lent in time for you to read them from early each morning. If you’re not sure if the office has your email address, you can fill in the Care Card in front of your seat this morning, and write your email, with a short note saying “Lent Devotions, please”. Or you could just email the Office!
2. Or you can access the church website, and find them there each day loaded up in time for you to access each morning.
3. Or you can access them via the church Facebook page. I don’t know how to do that because I’m a Facebook ignoramus, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out if you’re a Facebooker.
I hope to “meet with you” each morning of Lent, starting this Wednesday.