Lent starts on Ash Wednesday (6 March), and that’s coming up fast, so many Christians will be thinking about what they might give up for Lent. It’s a practice that many find helpful. As Archbishop Welby puts it: “For many centuries, denying ourselves certain pleasures or habits has been a way that Christians have made space in their hearts for God as we journey towards Easter.”
We have three suggestions to follow up for Lent. The first is ++Justin’s suggestion: “As well as stopping something, how about starting something?” He suggests committing to prayer, or finding an act of kindness to do each day, as ways to start to see where we need to change our hearts and minds – more in his blog.
Our second suggestion is something that may appeal especially to those with mobile devices, which is the Church of England’s “LentPilgrim”, a discipleship journey with 40 daily reflections on The Beatitudes. Printed resources are available, but the online version offers you each day the chance to listen to and read a theme linked to the beatitude, a short Bible reading that explores the theme, a short reflection, a suggestion of how to pray, and a prompt to act.
Our third suggestion is potentially even more interactive, though non-techology routes are also available. This is #slavefreelent, an interactive 40-day fight against the slavery hidden in our supply chains, which is part of International Justice Mission’s “Make #SlaveFree Normal” campaign. IJM tell us that 25 million people are in forced labour slavery today, many making products that we consume every single day—products like coffee, chocolate and makeup, and #slavefreelent asks us to:
- give up a product that often has slavery in its supply chain for the 40 days of Lent;
- donate the money we would have spent on the product we are giving up, to help IJM stop slavery at source;
- join IJM’s WhatsApp updates for tips on #slavefree living, facts about the issue, challenges and encouragements straight to your phone.
40 million slaves. 40 days. Could you go #slavefree this Lent?