Revd Christoph Wutscher
Our Lent Course this year is based on a book by the Christian writer and teacher Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941): The School of Charity: Meditations on the Christian Creed, which she wrote as the official Lent Book for the Diocese of London in 1934.
In this book, Underhill reminds us that Lent is a good time for 'spiritual stocktaking': we need to check what is in our personal store-cupboards and whether we have everything we need for our spiritual life; but we also need to learn (as she says) to use 'our equipment properly' as we engage in the 'living-out of the spiritual life'. Among our spitirual tools and stock are thinkgs such as self-felection, worship, prayer, contemplation, Bible study, song etc. - all of these potentially helping us to open a door to God if we should use them well.
Underhill urges us to remember that ultimately all that matters in life is our living relationship with God and not our doctrines, forms of worship or fixed beliefs. She writes that, 'the true demand of religion will never be a demand for correct behaviour or correct belief', will never be based on the 'externals of religion', but will be moved by God's love and care for us - this God, who, 'is ever at work, transforming the self-centred desire of the natural creature into the wide-spreading, outpouring love of the citizen of Heaven.'
Whether we plan to take part in this year's Lent Course or not, perhaps this is something we could ponder this Lent: ask God what our 'spiritual tools' may be and how we could use them wisely in learning to feel God's presence and love a bit more deepy so that we may more and more be transformed into this same love.
In this sense, I wish you a deep and fulfilling season of Lent,
Yours in Christ,