Last year, we managed to do a couple of weeks of Lent before the first lockdown happened. As you will remember, Lent and Easter were completely cancelled for public worship; I remember scrambling around trying to discover new ways of doing church online.
Lent and Easter are affected by Covid again this year. Thankfully, this time we have been able to keep our churches open. We have also learnt a great deal about social media – we have a good number of folks who watch our recorded Sunday service, and we have people joining me for Zoom evening prayer. So, with all this in mind – what can Lent and Easter be for us this year?
Firstly, a good place to start would be to see Lent as a time for reflection. Life has changed, our experience of church has changed, maybe even our outlook on our humanity has changed. So, as we reflect through Lent we can ask ourselves - what has changed for us and what will that change mean as we look forward? We will all need to reflect, to learn lessons and build new realities going forward.
Secondly, I wonder if we should try and generate a greater sense of gentleness. If you are like me, then lockdown has created in me emotions that I do not necessarily want or desire. I have felt anger – when I have no need to be angry. I have felt tired when I have no reason to be. I have felt frustrated – when frustration is the last thing I want. All these emotions and feelings are because lockdown is something I am not used to – so through Lent, I will be gentle with myself; I know the emerging spring will help with this. Maybe this is something you need too?
Lastly, I think we need to be hopeful. 15 million vaccinations by mid-February was ambitious, but it was achieved. As we move forward, more and more will receive their first jabs – each jab, is a step towards some form of normality; this is hope in a real sense.
And so as hope gains momentum, and we move forward reflecting upon our live, with a gentle path pathed with the positives of who we are in ourselves and with family and friends – maybe, just maybe, Lent and Easter will enrich us in a way we have never encountered before?
May God bless you all.
Rev Derek Welsman
If you would like to view any of the reflections or services
that Derek has recorded since March 2020 please click here.
To find a simple form of daily prayer click here (also available as a video)
Other prayer resources may be found on the Church of England website.