"Lent is a time for facing a little more reality..."

So says Sir John Polkinghorne, Church of England priest and Quantum Physicist, in his book Searching for Truth: Lenten Meditations on Science and Faith, a book which I read each Lent in a practice of adding a Lenten discipline. What Polkinghorne means by that statement is that Lent, either old calendar or new calendar, with its sombre colours, challenging Scripture readings and painfully reflective music is a time for remembering that death is very real. Many of our traditions begin Lent with the mark of ashes, remembering that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Since we are the people of the God of History, however, we also move through Lent knowing that the Resurrection has happened once and for all and that that is our reality too. Death does not have the last word. Life has first, last and eternal word.

And because Life has the first, last and eternal words, Lent is a time when many Christians try to face a little more reality by holding special study sessions on the issues that challenge us and our world - climate change, human trafficking and the poor fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals whose completion would bring so much life to so many of the vulnerable ones of our world.

Lent is a time for facing the reality that there is much extreme poverty in our world, that malaria has not yet been eradicated even though we have the technology to do so, that Aids/HIV is still rampant and women in so many parts of the world do not have the maternal care they need.

Source: Together! March 2013 - enews from the Canadian Council of Churches
Visit: www.councilofchurches.ca

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