The Rector Writes - February 2018

Valentine's Day: A day for grand gestures of love: a dozen red roses, a box of chocolates, diamonds, a surprise trip to Paris.

Or perhaps something more practical, which could possibly mean even more (but, please, don't make 'taking out the bins' your grand gesture - try to aim a little higher than that!).

This year (for the first time since 1945) Valentine's Day will also be Ash Wednesday, the day that kicks off Lent.

So, what, time for a grand gesture of devotion towards God?

What will it be this year? Perhaps, cutting out chocolate or alcohol (for those for whom dry January didn't quite work) or something similar?

Well, those are all fine, if you like, but they can miss the point.

You see, Lent isn't about something that we do. After all, we aren't remembering us going into the desert and fasting for forty days and nights.

We are remembering Jesus doing that, not us.

It is about Him making the grand gesture, showing us how much He loves us, by doing for us what we could not do.

In the forty days, as throughout His life, Jesus was faced with all the temptations that we face - to doubt God's goodness, to distrust His plans, to disobey His Word.

Unlike us, He passed the test. He lived the life that we should have, so that if we trust Him, we can stand before God with Jesus’ status.

So, this year, rather than giving something us for Lent to try to prove something to God, how about taking something up - take up one of the Gospels, the eye-witness accounts of Jesus' life and see Him demonstrate His love to you.