10 February 2016


By John Ollis

In my 64+ years as a Christian  I have never been part of a church that follows a Lectionary, and to be honest I don’t ever expect to be either.
Last December I was asked if I would preach in our local church  on one of the four Sundays of Advent following the Advent theme for that Sunday. Being totally ignorant of what Advent was all about I had to do some research. This is what I found out.
The Church Fathers by the 4th century were getting very concerned about how believers were getting caught up  in the cares and concerns and sins of the day. So they devised this time as a period of reflection and to give consideration to Christ’s first coming and HIS SECOND COMING.
This really witnessed with me, we live such crazy lifestyles, we need to slow down and reflect. If the world was getting crazy by the 4th century, how much more in the 21st century.
So I have now done some research on Lent. This is what I have found out.
The traditional purpose of Lent (40 days) then the 7 days of Holy Week, is the time the believer prepares himself through prayer, and repentance, almsgiving, and self denial for the day we remember Christ’s atoning death and resurrection.
Again, I must say, what an awesome thing it is to do this. Many Evangelicals never have time  (or make time) to reflect and let the Lord search their hearts (Psalm 139. 23-24). So I want to encourage you to prayerfully consider  doing  just that. I am, and am expecting by Resurrection Sunday I will be aware of a fresh work of grace in my life.
I will not be writing every day about some aspect of Lent, but as I feel the Holy Spirit prompt me, I will ok ?
Some of my Pentecostal friends will be horrified at the above, but as far as I am concerned, anything that assists me to reflect, and if needs be repent, then I am embracing it, for I want to be more like Jesus.  What do you think ?