“For everything there is a season and a time for everything under heaven”. The voice of Qoheleth from Ecclesiastes (3:1)
The older I get the more I value routine and the patterns of the Church Year. They keep me on track and I am glad to accept the process of time moving on.
At the beginning of March, we start Lent. It is a time of preparation for Easter whilst following the path of Jesus from the desert of Judea to the open grave on the side of a Jerusalem quarry. It is a period of the year I have always valued and no less this year as the world seems even more topsy-turvy than usual.
Last week I led a Quiet Day at Launde Abbey when I explored how it might be possible to have a slow Lent. Maybe it is my age but I feel the Church is in such a rush. We seem burdened by the need to get away from the Covid Experience as quickly as possible. To re-start what was happening before. To try to make up time by trying new things.
It might become a cause for regret that church communities have not used the enforced distancing from what was normal as a sabbatical from business.
I just do not see that need for haste in Jesus. After all Lent begins with the Temptation stories where Jesus spent 40 days doing nothing but fasting and waiting.
Mahatma Ghandi declared “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed” and the Bishop of Warwick, John Stroyan writes in his wonderful book ‘Turned by Divine Love’ that “We cannot ponder in a hurry”.
Contributed by Revd John Rackley