Yes, in the weird and wonderful language the Church of England likes to use at times, today is the Sunday next before Lent. But then this is probably a bit easier to make sense of than today’s Book of Common Prayer name: Quinquagesima. As a child (and one fascinated by language from very, very young) I used to love the names of these Sundays, though I never understood them until I learned a bit of Latin and realised all these funny names were numbers. So, 50 days until Easter . . .
I gave the approach of Lent some thought with a week to go. But I’ve been thinking a bit more since then and have decided I have got something to give up this year after all. I’m giving up not really connecting via social media. I’m one of those so-called lurkers. I check what all my friends are up to on Facebook and offer the occasional ‘like’ and even sometimes post my own rare status update. But when I say rare, I mean rare. So rare it usually gets commented on! And I love Twitter and follow some fascinating individuals and organisations and I find it a really brilliant source of information, links and so on. But, to date, I have the grand total of 3 tweets to my name! That’s so few, I’m almost embarrassed even to admit it!
And so it comes about that, when it’s become a bit of a ‘thing’ in Christian circles to give up social media for Lent, this vicar is going the other way entirely. I’m giving up not doing social media properly. I’m not setting any particular targets beyond ‘at least one tweet a day’ and perhaps a retweet or two, but I’m interested to see what happens.
One of the things I’ll definitely be blogging, tweeting and retweeting about is the 40 acts “Do Lent Generously” challenge. Do go over to their website and take a look. You could even consider joining in yourself – I know the team are really hoping for around 100,000 to be signed up this year as that would mean 4 million acts of generosity. Imagine what a difference all that love and joy could make to our gloomy world so full of bad news at the moment. 40 acts really is a great challenge – and does far more good to far more people than giving up chocolate for a few short weeks ever could.
So, what do you think? Will you live Lent generously this year?