Lent and Self denial redefined… deep spiritual roots will see us through.

On behalf of all the Churches in Crowthorne, the Vicar of St John the Baptist, Revd Dr Lisa Cornwell observes how Coronavirus has redefined the practice of self denial in the season of Lent and how it is vital that we establish rhythms of prayer/mediation to ensure our spiritual roots go deep.

“The season of Lent has taken an unexpected and unprecedented turn, with self-denial taking on a whole new meaning. Social contact and corporate worship are not on the traditional list of things to give up for Lent but foregoing these things has now become an integral part of our journey to the cross and beyond.

The really difficult thing is that we do not know how far beyond Easter this will go on. At least with normal Lenten disciplines there is an end point in sight.

The unpredictability and accelerated pace of this crisis is hard to adjust to. Coronavirus has not been in our vocabulary that long and now it has overridden our angst over the climate crisis, which of course, we must not forget either.

As we hunker down in all the panic, fear and confusion, we need to ensure our spiritual roots go deep. Many are finding it vital to establish rhythms of prayer/meditation to sustain us and routines in general for that matter.

I was struck by the #LiveLent bible passage for last Tuesday: “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord… They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious”. (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

If you are someone who prays, you may already have a daily prayer routine that works for you but if you would like further ideas we have been uploading some prayer and worship resources onto St John’s church website, so do have a browse.

May we permit God’s strength and peace to permeate our anxieties and nourish our sense of compassion towards others.

Revd Dr Lisa Cornwell, Vicar St John the Baptist, on behalf of the Churches together in Crowthorne.