Today is the Annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Bet you weren’t expecting a touch of Theology in this blog, but in the absence of me creating a separate one, you can thank me later.

I have been reflecting on Lent and what it means to me. What does it mean to you? Do you give up Chocolate or wine? It is about illustrating restraint and sacrifice? Perhaps you fast and eat one small meal a day?

I don’t think the world gains anything from me sacrificing crisps for 40 days, but I do love this period. I prefer the idea of taking things up during this time, taking my faith up a notch if you like. Who do I serve? And how can I do this with more conviction? Who else can I help?

I find the Church of England apps very useful and have downloaded #lentpilgrim which I use daily. I also write in my prayer diary about my reflections using this app as a starting point.

I already have all the Easter services I am attending in my diary and am sharing these with friends and family in addition to attending my own church.

I had a piece in my church magazine this month on ‘Evangelism as listening: an illustration from listening to sex workers’. This was influenced by attending a conference on ‘Reclaiming Evangelism: Positive Liberal Theologies of Mission’ at St. Dunstans in Liverpool. The idea of rights not rescue and walking alongside the marginalised as a powerful form of witness. Of not wanting to change the other, but rather as opening up ourselves to be transformed.

Lent is a slow turning ourselves towards God. It is the season of Lent; a reckoning of how we see the world afresh through the lens of the cross.

This is the time of year of freshness and newness. ‘Hello Spring’ Instagram feeds tell us. We spring clean our houses and look forward to more light and better weather. We make plans to buy Easter eggs, send cards and go to petting farms to see cute lambs.

But spiritually where are we? Does that need a reboot? It’s a great time of year to go back to your place of worship and start again.

If you have any good lent resources or reflections, let me know.

Gemma x