Lent is a chance to take stock and imagine a changed world

The title of this entry is taken from an article that appeared in The Guardian earlier this week.

I was particularly struck by this paragraph:

These hard times are going to last much longer than Lent, but this is a chance to take stock and imagine a changed world, in which, perhaps, the rich can actually manage with far less than they thought they needed; in which, perhaps, poverty is not treated as a misdemeanour on the part of the poor, but as a failure of society, to be remedied by all of us.

I agree with the thrust of Jane William’s article – that Lent tends to focus on short-term ‘giving up’ (usually of something relatively trivial).  And while I’m sure that for many people this annual practice brings spiritual growth and blessings, I tend towards the view that we’re missing the point.  Jesus’ temptation in the desert was a preparation for his ministry.  What are our Lenten ‘sacrifices’ (if we participate at all) preparation for?

Are we prepared to imagine – and then labour towards – a changed world?

(The article was written by Jane Williams, aka Mrs ab of c.  She’s a tutor at St Paul’s Theological Centre and can be heard regularly on the Godpod podcast.)

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