Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
I spent a while trying to think of something to do for Lent this year. In the end I decided at the last minute to repeat what I did last year – to be disciplined about reading the Bible passages of the day (I use the ones in the Church of England’s daily prayer here) and writing more. Then as last year to do something else which is (at least mostly) private – we should all keep something at lent to ourselves I think, to maintain an aspect of very personal prayer and relationship in this time of trial.
I remember my first Ash Wednesday service at 15 years old – I walked into my then parish church St Michael & All Angels Bramhall on a Wednesday morning, and remember it well. The priest Fr Simon Robert Marsh preached and thumbed the ashes onto my forehead. I remember what it felt like, how it reminded me that we were all born of the same dust, of the same breath, and when I washed my face and had to remove the ashes it was like a reminder of my baptism.
We also had some tarot readings tonight – something we’ve done every couple of weeks for a couple of months now. Chris from Philosophy read my tarot. She hardly knows me, but she knows some of my friends here well. She does it for free, it isn’t about money. I don’t know if the tarot readings are at all or ever some kind of Spirit/spirit speaking to me, but whatever it is, whether God flips the cards and speaks through them or not, I don’t deify them. I leave it at “Who knows.” Meanwhile, it certainly gives one food for thought.