Dear Friends
How often have we heard about the  importance of living a healthy life in terms of what we consume and the impact this has upon our own well-being both physically and mentally? It seems that every day there are new and faster ways to become healthy. We are bombarded by so many new forms of diets, pills and workouts that promise to bring about a drastic change to the way we look. More importantly, are these weight loss schemes more about getting slim quick rather than living and achieving a balanced lifestyle?

Lent is a season which begins on Ash Wednesday and comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “lectern” meaning “spring.” It represents the time that Jesus, following his baptism, spent 40 days in the wilderness, enduring temptation in preparation for his ministry. We read that the Holy Spirit was what sustained him through his times of trials and as it was for the disciples in continuing the work of Jesus ministry.

Lent is a time of repentance, a word often misunderstood in terms of its interpretation, but it is a time of fasting and preparation, examining oneself and denying oneself for the coming of Easter. It is a time of reflection; you could say, a time for establishing a new balanced diet in terms of your relationship with God, not through pills or workouts, but from the Gospel. It allows us in a time of solitude to immerse ourselves in the scriptures, in prayer and silence in anticipation of the resurrection. It was Timothy who said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3: 16-17.

Have you allowed your relationship with God to become unbalanced and therefore only allowing him into your life on an ad hoc basis? To quote J John; “releasing Jesus from the boot of our car for the Sunday happy hour!!” Therefore, as Paul would say in maintaining a balanced diet with your relationship with God during this period of Lent; “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2

I encourage you all to seek God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in the reading of your Bible, in the quietness of prayer and with other fellow Christians on a Lent course. May this be a time of renewal for your bodies both physically and spiritually.

Shalom

Martin