Easter is late this year. Which means that it was already March before we celebrated Shrove Tuesday and marked the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
Lent is sometimes viewed as a time of ‘giving up’; some abstain from sugar or chocolate or alcohol. The tradition of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday stems from using up rich food ahead of Lent.
This year I am aware of busy-ness creeping back into my life. I’d like to regain some balance; restore a daily rhythm, get back to running…
I thought I’d try a daily discipline of reading a psalm and walking with it. There’s forty days of Lent, 150 psalms. A rough calculation takes me past mid-summer…or longer if I stumble. I’ll see how it goes.
Today, being day 2 of Lent, I haven’t stumbled yet. I read psalm 2. It begins: Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? And ends: Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
I walked one of my running routes. If I’m honest, I haven’t run at all this year; my knees have been complaining.
As I walked, my mind turned to those driven from their homes by the horror of war. I have heard stories this week of people travelling to rescue family and friends from the border of their invaded homeland. They have brought glimmers of hope and light into the darkness.
Through the morning mist I heard people talking, loudly, disagreeing on an issue of the day. ‘And another thing,’ a voice boomed out, ‘they wouldn’t want to come here, where everyone’s a foreigner.’
How sad I felt that there seemed to be so little compassion in the voice for those who’d lost everything they owned, who’d been uprooted from their homes. The sentence haunts me, maybe I misheard or misunderstood the context. Surely we will welcome those whose lives have been so shattered?
‘Where will this all end?’ I lamented; ‘when will thy kingdom come?’