#LiveLent is a 40 day challenge created by the Church of England to get us to think about ways that we can care for God’s Creation. What with the raging wild fires in Australia, the floods in the north of England, gigantic garbage patches of plastic in our oceans and many other natural disasters in recent years it is not difficult to see that the impact of man on the planet may be greater than once thought.
However, tide is changing. We are opening our eyes to the problem. People are becoming more aware of where their food is coming from. Whether it contains ingredients such as Palm Oil which has been linked to deforestation or whether is is packed in plastic are now questions that many consumers are asking. Lent is a brilliant time to stop, pause and reflect. The #LiveLent campaign asks us to stop, pause and reflect upon how our actions make a difference to the world and the longer lasting effect it might have on it.
There are booklets available from the Church of England Website, however I have been following the challenge with the #Livelent App. Each day there is a reading from the Bible, a reflection, an action and a prayer for the week. You can choose whether to read these in your own time or press play and have them read to you. For me, having the words read to me and following along allows me greater contemplation. The actions are simple, but point us all in the direction of making better choices and conserving the world’s precious resources. For those of us with families, there are also daily family challenges which link in with the reading for the day. For example it might be turning the lights off when you leave a room or ensuring that a charger is switched off when a mobile phone is charged, rather than when you need it next. I am really enjoying using it and a five minute pause to sit quietly, listen and reflect is a welcome addition to my day.
As a mother of a 7 year old, I can sense the urgency and feel his passion to save the world. At school they have had marches with banners demanding that we “Save Planet Earth” and “Stop Plastic Pollution”. It may seem overly simplistic or naive to think that we can do something this grand.
But actually, as adults are we too quick to say “What’s the point in me reducing my use of plastic when other countries don’t?” or “Why don’t the shops stop putting plastic on everything?” Our passion and drive is often diluted and dulled by what it convenient and affordable when we have so much going on in our busy adult lives. Maybe we need to think more like seven year olds – they see what is in front of them rather than what everyone else is doing. They have no concept of the amount of plastic bottles that are used every year, so don’t get overwhelmed or have that same feeling of helplessness that we may feel. If everyone focuses on their own actions, those little actions will join up and make big changes.
On our website we have a Green Issues page in our What We Do section. In it we are asking parishioners to send in pledges that they are making to Care for Creation. If you would like to add yours, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, whether you are choosing to give something up for Lent or start something new, I hope that you are able to find time to stop, pause and reflect and appreciate God’s Creation.