Lent – Journey Through the Wilderness

Lent - a Journey Through the Wilderness

Southwark Cathedral - Lent - a Journey Through the Wilderness

Good morning everyone. Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. The liturgy for our Ash Wednesday service is very moving, particularly that moment when our foreheads are marked with ash in the sign of the cross and we hear these words “Remember that you are but dust and to dust you will return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.” In more normal times some of us from St Paul’s and St Peter’s have stood on the Walworth Road offering an ash cross to all those going about their daily activities. It is a privilege to be with passers-by in this way, especially in the minute or two when they stop in their tracks and turn their attention towards Christ. This is the start of Lent, a time of repentance and preparation for the coming of Easter. I see it as a time of spiritual growth and renewal; an opportunity to be more purposeful about reading scripture, to spend more time with God. This is perhaps not the year for giving too much up – we have given up so much already! – but how about taking something on? For example, how about reading the whole Gospel of Mark during Lent? Very sadly we will not be meeting for our service tonight, but the Cathedral has produced an online service for us which beautifully starts us on our Lenten journey:

Father John