Many years ago, a workmate of my father-in-law wanted to be married on a Saturday before Easter. When the vicar explained they would not be able to provide music and an organ he enquired ” Why ever not?” “Because it’s Lent” replied the vicar. “Well, can’t you get it back for then?” the man asked.

It made me realise there are many people who have no idea what Lent is. During the six weeks prior to Easter, Christians reflect on Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness. Some choose to abstain from certain foods or alcohol. The early arrival of Easter eggs in the shops can be a true temptation to those who decide to give up chocolate. This reminds us of the times the devil tried to tempt Jesus (Luke 4 v3) “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread” Jesus answered “It is written; people do not live on bread alone.”

Lent is a time for us to reflect and repent. It gives us the opportunity to take a personal journey, and communal renewal, responding to God’s call:-

”  Come back to me, with all your heart. ”

I wonder if our tolerance towards each other could be one way of responding. Using the example of the Good Samaritan may we truly look on each person as a brother or sister, never turning away from those in need, especially if their ways and culture are different to ours.

Mary Thompson