It’s a Love Thing – Gail Ashton

To celebrate our 37th Valentine’s day this year. My husband and I dressed up. I had bought a “dining in” meal deal #stayinginisthenewgoingout. We started off by going to the prosecco lounge (aka bar stools in the kitchen area). We played music from the past danced, cried and more importantly talked and laughed. Then we took our seats at the restaurant – the dining table dressed nicely with a red rose and a candle. It was the best Valentine’s day I can remember it felt great to celebrate an occasion.

Now we are moving into Lent a time of reflection and giving up stuff. I believe over this last year we have given up quite a lot already. Instead, we could plan to take up something as an act of remembrance. Calling a different person each day or every week. Doing that thing you have been meaning to do. Perhaps just sitting and reflecting on what Lent is all about.

Matthew 4:1-2 it says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and
forty nights, he was hungry.” Jesus, fully human experienced everything that we have and will encounter. The isolation that some of us have had to suffer is akin to the wilderness where Jesus was taken to be tempted by the devil. But He is there with us and will bring us through this time.

The government’s latest phrase is that they are asking us to be optimistic but patient. As we go through this Lent, let’s focus our minds on Jesus. Ask Him to help us find the thing that would be best for us to give up or take up.
Jesus is the only thing that we can be sure of. He is our hope and our strong foundation. This has been a difficult year but think of the many hopeful things that it has produced. Not least three vaccines tested, two of which are being rolled out and another two in the testing process. More than 15 million, that is 22% of the UK population have had their first shot of the
vaccine. Another 537 thousand have had their second shot. It is a waiting game. I heard the Director-General of WHO (World Health Organization) –
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus say, “A global pandemic requires a world effort to end it – none of us will be safe until everyone is safe.”

So, as we wait for many different things including lifted restrictions, seeing loved ones, going to a show or eating at our favourite restaurant, to mention but a few…. Let us wait with great anticipation throughout this Lent for Easter – where we can be sure that Jesus did for us what He planned to do. He did His Father’s will. Through LOVE He opened up the way to eternal life. Celebrate when you can, laugh when you can and hopefully by the time, we have celebrated the ascension of our King Jesus things just may be on the road to recovery.

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