Lent: give up or take up?

Rev. Sue Starkings“Nowadays I tend to ‘take up’ something for Lent which involves me doing something extra for Lent.”

Rev Sue Starkings

Dear Readers,

Later on in this month we will be in Lent and now, at the beginning of this month, is the time to start thinking about what we are going to ‘give up’ or ‘take up’ for Lent. When I was a child at school the teachers encouraged us all to ‘give up’ something for Lent and most of us pupils gave up chocolate or sweets for Lent and the money saved was collected and given to a respective charity that the school nominated. I still give up chocolate for Lent even though Mothering Sunday is during this period. One of my children always brings round a box of chocolates on Mothering Sunday, to see if I will eat one, and is always told that these will wait till Easter before being opened. I am never sure if he is testing my will power or just forgets that it is Lent! Nowadays I tend to ‘take up’ something for Lent which involves me doing something extra for Lent. Last year I decided to ‘take up’ reading the following book:

Lent for Everyone: Matthew Year A by Tom Wright (description on amazon.co.uk)

Lent for Everyone - Matthew Year A by Tom Wright

Tom Wright is an Anglican Bishop and a leading New Testament Scholar who writes in a way that can be understood by all. This book gently took me, the reader, through the designated Lectionary readings for every day of Lent and Easter. Each day there is a Bible reading and each passage is followed by a written reflection and a prayer that will help the reader to ponder the relevance of Matthew’s Gospel for their own lives.

This year I will once again ‘take up’ reading the following book:

Lent for Everyone Mark Year B by Tom Wright (description on amazon.co.uk)

Lent for Everyone - Mark Year B by Tom Wright

This book follows the same pattern of last year’s one but follows the Gospel of St. Mark, which is the designated gospel for this year. Tom Wright’s book will allow you to make Mark your own, thoughtfully and prayerfully. It will help make your journey through Lent a period of rich discovery and growth. Tom Wright has donated any profit made from the sale of the book to churches in need so he decided to ‘take up’ writing and ‘gave up’ any financial reward for Lent – a role model to emulate perhaps?

So think about what you will ‘give up’ or ‘take up’ for Lent. You may decide to ‘take up’ reading and/or come to the weekly communion service or come to one of the evening prayers during this period. The G7 Ministers hope to see you at our Ash Wednesday services, see services for February for times and venues. Whatever you decide to do my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love and best wishes.

Rev Sue Starkings, Assistant Curate for the G7 Benefice