Monthly Comment

A season to say no

When our thoughts turn to the season of Lent then we can often hear the word no flashing through our thoughts. After all we have no flowers in church during Lent. Some will be saying no to wine or chocolates. Others will be saying no to alleluias in hymns during Lent. When you start to think about it you can see we often seem to use the word no quite a lot during the season of Lent. The trouble is this can make the whole season seem very gloomy and miserable and people who are gloomy and miserable don’t always give of their best. So rather than thinking of Lent as a season to say no let us think of it as a season to say yes. We should being saying yes to giving up on sin. We should be saying yes to following Christ. In fact the only thing we might wish to say no to is sin and temptation. We begin Lent with Jesus in the wilderness and in the wilderness he says no to the temptation placed in his path by the devil. 

Rather than thinking of Lent as a season to say no why don’t you think of Lent as the season to say yes I will follow more closely in the footsteps of Jesus Christ? Yes I will respond more readily to the call of discipleship; remember how the disciples left their boats and their nets and followed Jesus without any thought. Isn’t this what we should be aiming for, to say yes to the call of
discipleship?

I want Lent to a be a positive life changing experience for you, when we say yes to Jesus Christ and don’t turn it into a miserable season of gloomy no’s. I would urge you to come and join us in church for our Lenten services of Compline and time of study. This year we are studying a course entitled “When I survey” which looks at the work of Christ on the cross. Or perhaps you might be challenged to read a book of the Bible; why don’t you read the book of Acts and discover how the early church spent its time saying yes to the demands of God upon its life. Or take up the challenge of reading a Christian book. In the past we have all read the same book but this time I thought we could all pick a book read it and come and share what we learnt from it with others who have followed the challenge. If we embrace one or other of these challenges or the challenges that you like to set yourself during Lent then we will hopefully find ourselves saying yes rather than no and so we will transform Lent from being a season of gloom to a season of glory.

David Nichol