Lent is the period of six weeks 40 days (not including Sundays) leading up to Easter, the most important festival in the Christian calendar.
During the 40 days of Lent, we Christians remember the time when Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray before beginning his work for God. During this time Jesus was tempted several times by Satan, but was able to resist.
Traditionally Lent has been a time of giving things up. For Christians, it is one way of remembering the time Jesus’ fasted in the desert and is a test of self-discipline. It is a time of personal and spiritual reflection and a time of preparation for Easter, ending in Holy Week where we recall the last week of Jesus life, his trial, death and resurrection.
Lent begins on what we call Ash Wednesday. It is a common practice in many churches to hold a service during which Christians are marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes. This is a sign of saying sorry to God for any wrong doing (penitence) and mortality. The ashes come from burning the palm crosses from Palm Sunday of the previous year. (I know some of us still have our cross from last year)
In the coming weeks I hope we take the opportunity to reflect, pray, and consider afresh what it means for us to be followers of Jesus Christ