Lent. The Church season of Lent. It comes from an Old English word meaning ‘spring’.
It covers 40 days (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
Traditionally Christians try to go without a treat, as we remember Jesus’ 40 days in the Judaean desert in preparation for his ministry.
He fasted and we deny ourselves some simple pleasures to identify with Him. At the same time we look for opportunities to be of service to others.
All this may seem trifling in the face of the world’s ills. It appears not to add up to much to counter society’s deep seated troubles.
Yet consider this. Over thirty years ago, a modest Church Charity called “Caring and Sharing (East Sussex)” encouraged people regularly to miss out on a treat and donate the money saved to one of a number of projects in the developing world.
The strapline of the Charity is “Live more simply that others may simply live”.
The projects include a leprosy centre in India, a school for the deaf in Tanzania, an orphanage in Guatemala, a feeding programme in Honduras; some of the 15 projects that benefit.
Small donations have been accumulating for over 30 years amounting to well over £2 ½ million.
These modest sacrifices are supported by regular prayer for the projects’ managers and beneficiaries.
The lesson is a simple one. Each of us can make a difference to our locality and our world.
It takes a little discipline, commitment and love.
For more details – www.caringandsharingeastsussex.org.uk