Chaplain Writes

The Chaplain writes

Our Lenten Journey

Dear Saints,

Christians around the world prepare themselves during Lent for Easter. A period of forty days, around six consecutive Sundays, in which we look to Christ to challenge and encourage us as we seek to grow in faith and love for God and each other. We pray, fast and give to those in need. This year, we start this journey on Ash Wednesday, the 14th of February.

Lent reminds us that we are creatures created by God: our physical bodies have been made from the earth, from dust, and at death, we return to the earth, to dust. This reminder encourages us to invest our time and energy to intentionally follow the lead of the Spirit beyond the physical body. Making our Lord Jesus Christ’s promise to give us life in its fullness real in us and through us.

Lent is one of the church’s gifts. An opportunity to deepen our resilience as servants, co-workers, and those who are not of the world but in the world, part of Christ’s mission to bring salvation to the world.

Lent at St Mary’s in Twente

This year, we journey through Lent through the lens of Mark’s Gospel, chapters 14 to 16. Our Lenten Journey consists of the following elements:

· Personal reflection

o As individuals, we try to understand and experience what Lent means for us by daily Scripture reading, reflection, and prayer through the Passion narrative in the Gospel of Mark.

Communal worship

o We pray and worship God together as a church community on Ash Wednesday, the six Sundays of Lent and on weekdays during Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter.

o We strive to be spiritually disciplined by denying ourselves things we long for. Fridays are recommended as days of fasting. On four Fridays, we meditate on the Stations of the Cross, after which we break our fast. On the fifth Friday, we break the fast with a communal Passover meal.

o We look out for those in need and give to the church specifically for the charities that our chaplaincy supports and for the Diocesan Lenten Appeal, which is this year for the work of the Anglican Centre in Rome in its work amongst the poor and disadvantaged.

Bible Study
o Together, we explore how we can practically apply our faith in our daily lives from a biblical perspective. This year, with the “Breathing Life” Lenten course on four Saturdays.

Lenten booklet to support us on our journey

We have a booklet that supports us on our Lenten Journey. The Lenten booklet is a daily guide with the daily biblical texts, reflections and prayers, as well as all the Lenten activities of St Mary’s on the respective dates.

Lent can be a gruelling journey, as it takes us past some shameful places en route to the Cross, but the Good News is, it doesn’t end there. Our final destination, via the tomb, is the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. Jesus has gone before us to prepare a place for each of us. So, let us follow Him.

Yours in Christ as always,