Ash Wednesday… Time for Preparation?

Today’s Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent… traditionally a period of abstinence… giving up chocolate, alcohol, or some other pleasure…

The more radical Christian tradition is that it’s the start of a tough disciplined journey of prayer and fasting… a time to ‘confess sins, correct faults, purify hearts, control desires and grow in holiness’.

Lent’s tradition remembers the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert preparing for his ministry… is a time of preparation for Easter…

The first major steel section of Lowestoft’s new ‘Gull Wing bridge’ arrived yesterday.

Weighing 380 tonnes and 55m long, it arrived via barge following a 32-hour crossing from Ghent in Belgium.

East Anglian Daily Times: ‘The complex process of navigating the barge into the inner harbour and then transferring the steel structure from the barge on to the site was excellently overseen by a team of experienced civil engineers, port masters and marine experts.’

Gull Wing Bridge… careful, detailed preparation…

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been on our TV screens every day for the last week. Obtaining a degree in law from the Kyiv University he then became an actor, comedian and producer of films, cartoons, and TV shows. Elected Ukraine’s president in 2019… now he’s Ukraine’s wartime leader.

His constant calmness, courage and compassion has been moving, inspirational… uniting his nation and the world: ‘Listen to the voice of reason… The Ukrainian people want peace.’

Zelenskyy… Was adequately prepared for the Russian invasion?

Ash Wednesday is the first of 40 days of Lent. (46 actually – ancient traditions didn’t count Sundays!)…

40 days occurs in a number of Bible narratives – in Noah’s flood, Moses’ spies, Jonah’s big fish… In Lent we remember Jesus’ 40 days in the desert being tempted; later Jesus appears for 40 days after his resurrection before his ascension.

In each of these stories ‘40 days’ speaks of preparation. There’s uncertainty, tough testing but waiting for the unknown, uncertain yet extraordinary to happen…

Preparation comes through lessons of patience, resilience and faith…

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