Thought for the Day : Wednesday 17 February

Thought for the Day by Hannah Lievesley (St Chad’s)

Ash Wednesday

Bible reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-19

“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” (1 Timothy 6:6)

Quakers are known for their desire to live simply. They prefer not to be dependent upon unnecessary possessions or the security these appear to bring. There’s a story that a simple-living Quaker was watching his new neighbour move in with all of his many furnishings and expensive gadgets. When the move-in was complete, the Quaker went over to his new neighbour and said, “Friend, if ever you need anything, come to see me… and I’ll tell you how to get along without it!”

Our Ash Wednesday service today will invite us, “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.” Perhaps this sounds like an unwelcome extra layer of restrictions in a time of lockdown. But I confess that, for my part, I’m thirsty for the refreshment such simplicity can bring.

Sometimes, you can be offered the finest wine or sweetest most luxurious hot chocolate, but only water will quench your thirst and bring the refreshment you need. How will you allow Lent to refresh you this year?

Henry Thoreau said, “a man is wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to do without”. How might you strip back the clutter of your inner and outer life this Lent to make space for the true riches found in a closer relationship with God?      

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