This week is the start of Lent. We all enthusiastically pig out on pancakes on Shrove Tuesday ….. but what does Lent mean to you? Do you give up chocolate or cigarettes? Both are good to do from a health point of view. My birthday is always in the middle of Lent so I have never been prepared to forgo chocolate at a time when I have reason to celebrate.
Why do we feel we should give things up? Are we trying to mirror Jesus’ self-restraint in fasting for 40 days in the desert? The things we give up are luxuries – not the basics of life as he did. What are we trying to prove? That we have control over our desire for nice but non-essential things. That we can stand up to temptation.
What was Jesus’ purpose in fasting in the desert? He wasn’t trying to show he could survive without food. He wasn’t testing himself to see whether he could withstand the temptations. He was seeking to get closer to God. He was readying himself for the three years of mission that he was about to embark on that would show the people of the world how to live kingdom lives now, would bring them salvation and would make a way for them to have eternal life.
He was ensuring that he was totally in line with God’s will and purpose – that he knew his mission.
This Lent we, in Ignite Network, feel called to try to get closer to God – to explore with him whether Ignite Network is in line with his will and purpose and to listen for what he wants to say to us about where the mission should take us. You have probably seen that we are going to have a prayer meeting each Tuesday in the living room (starting March 7th at 9.30) which we would encourage you to attend. We are going to seek to get closer to God so we can hear what he has to say about Ignite Network. We’ll be using readings about Lent to guide and inform our prayers. We are expecting God to speak to us and so will have a large sheet of paper to record all he says.
Many of you will be working / studying on a Tuesday morning so we will post prayer suggestions each week on the Ignite group on Facebook and we would ask you to pray through them, listening for what God wants to say. We will be sticking the sheet from the prayer meeting on the wall in the office and would ask you to add anything that God says to you about the Ignite Network when you are next in the building.
There are many opportunities for Ignite at present. All of them are good things to do. We want to make sure that the ones we pursue are the ones that God would have us tackle and that he will bless. We want to be his hands and feet in building his kingdom here on earth. We want Ignite Network to be his mission.
Join us in seeking to get closer to God. Let’s listen TOGETHER for what he has to say.