In the Christian calendar, we have entered the season of Lent. This began on Ash Wednesday, 17th February. In our collective worship, we thought about what this could mean for us.
Our value this half term is Resilience. We thought about our goals from now to the end of the school year, realising it is important to set ourselves goals and have something to aim for, but it is not always easy to achieve those goals. There are many things that could easily put us off. Often, we just need to keep going: we need a lot of perseverance – we need to be resilient.
In the Bible, there is a story about Jesus being tempted to do certain things. A desert is very hot during the day and very cold at night. Before Jesus started the work that God had given him to do, he spent 40 days and 40 nights in a desert. During this time, Christians believe that Jesus was tempted by the devil in three ways.
- First, Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread rolls. He refused to be tempted and said that doing what God wanted was more important than food, even though he was really hungry.
- Second, Jesus was tempted to jump off a high tower to force God to send angels to protect him. He refused to do this because it would be wrong to test God in any way.
- Third, Jesus was taken to the top of a high mountain, where he was shown all the kingdoms of the world. The devil told Jesus that he would be king over the whole world if Jesus worshipped him. Jesus refused and said that only God should be worshipped.
Jesus’ goal was to use the time in the desert to be close to God. Jesus continued with this goal even when temptations were placed in his way that could have distracted him. He persevered – he was resilient. During Lent, Christians remember the story of Jesus’ time in the desert. As we heard, Jesus had to face many difficult situations while he was in the desert, and he had to rely on God to help him. One of the difficult situations that Jesus faced was managing without food, so some Christians decide to fast during Lent or at least give up something during this period. They also will spend time in prayer.
Today, many people who do not have a Christian faith still use the period of Lent to give up something. They may give up eating chocolate, watching television, drinking coffee or something else altogether. The idea is that they might use the extra time or money gained to give for something good. Christians might spend the extra time on thinking about God. People might also use the time to help others or support a charity.
As a school in the Southwark Diocese, we always support the Bishops Lent Appeal. We usually sell purple wristbands, which we will do when school reopens as well as coming up with new ways we can give to show support.
Some of the charities the Bishops Lent appeal are supporting are in our locality. People close to us sometimes do not have enough food to eat. The money you give will support these charities that are focused on the work of food banks in the Southwark Diocese and food insecurity in Zimbabwe and Jerusalem.
So as we get ready to return to school and focus on those goals you have set, remember these things:
- Acknowledge that it is not always easy to persevere and that everyone is tempted to give up.
- Try to be strong and say ‘no’ to people or things that are tempting us to give up.
- Remember that we could ask God or other people to help us at any time.