Last night I attended our circuit service which marked the beginning of the season of lent. Jane and Andrew had prepared a time of quiet reflection which drew us as a congregation into times of corporate and personal reflection asking pertinent questions as we begin our time of meditation on the nature of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness.
The times of personal reflection spoke very strongly to me, in part, due to their stark simplicity. We were invited to spend an extended time in silence either reading a meditation about being in the wilderness followed by some quotes from various influential leaders (which I glanced at but didn’t really read) or to simply sit and watch a series of different images (which I did and found very powerful). In the middle of the silence a piece of gentle and ‘moody’ sax music was played before the silence was allowed to return. There was something intensely powerful about that time to make a deep and personal examination of conscience.
Another thing that struck me was the response we were asked to make towards the end of the service. We’d all been given a piece of hessian sacking which we were invited to use in response to how God had spoken to us. There were a whole range of options about how that response could happen but for me the one that felt right was to place that piece of sack, representing something that I wished to lay down, at the foot of the Lenten cross. Kneeling at the the cross is not something new, I’ve done it many times before, physically and mentally but it always has a profound effect.
Was anyone else who’s reading this at the service? What effect did it have on you? How might it change your journey through lent this year?