Thought of the Month
March 5th is pancake day, Shrove Tuesday. Lemon and sugar on mine please. May there be many. But it wasn't pancakes that helped me understand Lent.
Some years ago, when I was working in London, I happened to be seated with Muslim colleagues during Ramadan. I wanted to find out what their month-long Ramadan fast meant to them. Actually, as they attempted to explain, I realised that it was different for each of them. But there was a common thread, that they wanted to feel closer to God.
One of my colleagues was especially keen to understand what the Christian season of Lent meant to me. That's when I realised that I didn't know. It was on the calendar, started with Ash Wednesday and ended with Easter, but I was embarrassed at my lack of engagement with this Christian season.
I needed to learn more. So, I decided to share something of the Ramadan fast with my colleagues by joining them during working weekdays. For a few weeks, Monday to Friday, I got up long before sunrise for breakfast and ate and drank nothing until after sunset. Unsurprisingly, I found this a struggle. It tended to focus the mind! However, I did find it easier to pray, especially since there was nothing much else to do at lunchtime and tea breaks! So, it became a special time for me too, of getting closer to God.
It was a relief when the month was over. Lunch never tasted so good! And a hot drink at my desk! Luxury. But I missed the focus on praying, that discipline that fasting brought.
My Muslim colleagues had all moved on by the end of that year, and I was surprised how much I missed them when it was Ramadan again - I was sad because I had no one to fast with. And that was when I understood Lent: almost seven weeks set aside, with other believers, to be serious about getting close to God.
Lent starts 6th March, Ash Wednesday. Why not make it extra special in some way this year? Put God high on the priority list for this fixed period. And see what he does. May you be much blessed. And I hope you enjoy a pancake or two.
We are situated by the crossroads right at the heart of Stotfold. We extend a warm welcome to everyone, whether local residents or those 'just passing through'.
The present building was built in 1869 and still serves the local community.
Our Sunday morning services usually take place at 10am, although a couple in the month start at 9.30am. Check on the 'Sunday Worship' page to make sure.
One of our monthly services is based around the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
See the 'Sunday Worship' page for details of our Services.
This Month's Quote
Jesus said: Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6: 5-8