As Lent approaches I find myself considering what to do for the next 46 days. As the days lengthen we are encouraged to give up something, notably chocolate and/or alcohol, in a perception that this will develop our faith. I am not sure how giving up something for Lent and then eating it or drinking again affects faith in any way. I heard today of one person who gave up meat last year and is still abstaining from meat now. This has helped them to focus on what God provides and is a constant reminder to them of God’s love. Is this something you’d consider?

The Birmingham Methodist Circuit have suggested the Share 40: a series of opportunities not to give up on something but to give of ourselves in occasionally novel ways. Here are just a few suggestions.

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It has provided me with suitable encouragement to consider an alternative gift for Lent.

I also have come to a turning point in my life, where I am supporting my Dad. It has been a novel time when I have had to make decisions with regard to my Dad. We are in a generation, the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ where we are supporting both our parents and our children.  Due to increased life expectancy, because in some measure to better healthcare, we are all living longer. Moreover, those life expectancy figures can only be derived when people die. Hence our own life expectancy has yet to be derived! It is said that for our youngsters, 1 in 10 of them will make 100 years of age!

With new shoots of good news emerging today for my Dad, I can now see that we have turned a corner. Those months of worry may soon be transformed into some time of happiness and security, for us all. The light at the end of the tunnel may now be in view.

In Lent we also can see fresh shoots of God’s grace, not in the pangs of hunger due to not eating the chocolate hobnobs, but in seeing God’s love in all that we do and see. Share 40’s ideas are all positive and if we can keep them going beyond Lent, life changing. For truly what lies at the conclusion of Lent is pure and simply life changing. Easter is that culmination of all that is life changing, the transformation of death into life. Here we can truly see Light, in all its glory.

It’s available now and we can start to share it through Lent.

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