Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Lent is the period of 40 days of fasting before Easter. It is a time of preparation for the commemoration and celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection.

The sharp minded among you will notice that there are actually 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. That is because you never fast on a Sunday, because we celebrate the resurrection every Sunday and you don’t fast to celebrate!

During Lent people tend to “give up something” for this period. It could be biscuits or cake or alcohol or Facebook. Another approach is to take something like the 40 acts challenge This challenges you to do a kind act every day of Lent, though I am not sure whether not doing a kind act on Sunday is in the spirit of the season!

Interestingly, this year Ash Wednesday falls on 1st March. This is a special day for the Welsh as it is St. David’s day. St. David was actually Welsh, which sets him apart from the other British patron saints. St. George was probably Greek, St. Andrew was from Galilee and St. Patrick was possibly English!

Anyway, what links David with Lent is his final sermon, where he says,

"Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed, and do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about."

The line “do the little things” makes me reflect that giving things up for Lent or even doing kind acts for Lent is really how we should be living all the time.

The little things, the kindnesses, not indulging, should be part of our everyday life. They are a witness to the one who gave up his life for us in the kindest act ever. Lent is for every day, not just for Lent. In this way it can be a Missional act, pointing people towards the ultimate giver.

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