The season of Lent is an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. Last week I was sat in my shed listening to some Bach and floating prayerfully on it, when looking out of the window into our garden, I saw Sylvia tending a plant. To my eye the plant looked healthy enough if a bit droopy. Sylvia bent over it, some feat for a woman of 80, held the stems of the plant in her left hand and with her right cleared the ground at its foot, removing dead bits of plant and other detritus. She took the rubbish and added it to the compost, before returning with a cane, some green gardening string & a pair of scissors. She pushed the cane into the ground and then tied a piece of the string around it and the plant, thus holding the plant upright.  

I thought to myself that’s quite a good image of what Lent is about: clearing away what has died & encouraging new life. Traditionally Lent has been seen as more about the former than the latter, but both actions are necessary. I recall preaching at the beginning of Lent, many years ago, and encouraging a congregation to mark Lent by setting some time aside each day for a simple act of wanton pleasure, on the assumption that such an activity would almost certainly nourish their soul and thence deepen their relationship with God.

This Lent one of my wanton acts of pleasure [you are allowed more than one!] is to sit and listen to the music of Bach, and also Einaudi.  One of Sylvia’s, of course, might be tending to droopy plants.