Thought for the month of April
These weeks of lent lead us to consider where we fall short from God’s love and how we need to repent and put things right so that we can experience resurrection.
In the early church lent became the season when newcomers to the church were preparing to be baptised at Easter and it grew into the season when all Christians marked this as a time of repentance and penitence to set aside the things that distracted them from God.
Over the last 2 days I have been studying ‘The history of sin’, on a course in Salisbury. The day started as I met other participants on the way into the building asking, ‘Are you here for sin?’ It was all rather amusing.
The church is renowned for going on about sin, but do we think beyond the language, and the hymns and songs? From the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis, we have always found it easier to blame someone or something else for our condition. It is also easier to shift the emphasis away from ourselves, and our own sin to the social, cultural and economic forces which lead to poverty and oppression.
On the course we got to know about Evagrius, a 4thcentury Monk, living in the desert. People went to visit him for spiritual advice. He helped people to see what was going on inside of them. He talked about how the soul gets distracted from God and responds to the temptations that assault it through (metaphorical) cracks in the heart.
We are human beings and we all have these flaws. These last weeks of lent give us the opportunity to look honestly at ourselves so that we can repent of the sins which bind us and spread like a stain within us. We believe that Jesus died to take away sin. So, let us repent and give thanks that through his death we can be made clean, if we are willing!