It’s been a very odd Lent indeed. In fact it’s been pretty weird ever since I first took seriously the idea of applying for a new job, back in late September. The thing is, I didn’t plan to be on the move, I didn’t plan to leave parish ministry, I didn’t plan to buy a house, I wasn’t expecting to return to my beloved Midlands. So Lent as a way of drawing closer to God hasn’t made much sense this year – God has felt very close indeed through the tough bits of leaving and in the excitement of new beginnings.
I started Lent in parish, but left on Mothering Sunday. Since then I have moved and cleaned and painted and arranged and decluttered and stuffed stuff wherever it will fit. So today, Holy Saturday, is the first day where I have stopped, have no plans until this evening. It’s been a chance to rest, to look at how much I have done here and to be proud. This Holy Week I have observed nearly everything I normally would – but from the pew. I can see for myself the enormous efforts being made behind the scenes to enhance my engagement with the Easter narratives, and I am grateful.
I haven’t really kept this Lent. It seemed to contain enough stresses and danger points to be navigated without adding to them. It has perhaps taken stopping on Holy Saturday, doing nothing, just being, for me finally to feel I am not going through the Lent and Holy Week motions, that my experience connects with the Passion and Easter. Every year I find a point of connection, this year it’s just a Little last minute!