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A few days ago, I returned from the UK following the death of my wife’s mom about four weeks ago. I was there to help my wife and her brother clear their mom’s home. It’s a sobering experience sorting through someone’s home and discarding unwanted items - many items sadly had to be junked. We filled a garage with these items for a garbage removal company to empty later.

Today, Wednesday, February 14, Lent begins. Lent is the 40 days before Easter, not including Sundays. Lent has been a part of Christian discipleship since the early 4th century. The purpose is to reflect on our lives and abstain from activities so that we may give more attention to our Lord. It’s a little like going through our homes and removing unwanted items, except that it’s not our homes but our lives that the Spirit wishes to clear the clutter from.

But Lent is not just about abstaining from activities or removing the clutter from our lives - Lent is also about renewal. Listen to Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:25-33.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Jesus tells us to trust God and to seek God’s Kingdom and his righteousness. This is renewal and Lent is the season to be renewed.

At Trinity Baptist we are about to begin our “40 Days of Prayer”. We will follow a daily pattern of reflection, devotion, journaling, and prayer, individually, in groups, and as a congregation. May the Spirit take this prayer focus and show us where he wants to cleanse us and where he wants to renew us. In so doing, may we all grow closer to Jesus.

Grace and peace

Pastor Callum