The Church Bible verse for the year 2024 is
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23.
The dates of Lent are determined by the date of Easter which means it falls on a different date each year. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which is on 14th February and it lasts for 40 days, ending on Maundy Thursday, 28th March. This 40 day period mirrors the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness before starting his ministry. The story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness shows us that it is not a sin to be tempted but it's how we respond to temptation which is the issue. The 40 days of Lent can also be seen to mirror the 40 hours that Jesus spent in the tomb prior to His resurrection.
Lent can involve both abstinence and fasting. During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain foods, habits or luxuries. The money saved can be donated to a charity. This is done both as a form of penitence and as a spiritual discipline used to control the body and sharpen the spirit for prayer, reflection and contemplation in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Lent offers us a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our relationship to Him. In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our lifestyle, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we've done or failed to do and to be generous to those in need. We welcome you to the services on Sundays at Benfleet Baptist Church and details of these can be found on the Notices.
A new free resource from thefuelcast.com . A brand new innovative, project bringing you a short but powerful, biblical, devotional video every week day of the year. Have a look in their library for helpful resources for Christians or if you just want to know more about what Christians believe. You will find links to a series for Lent below.
Rosa Hunt and Ed Kaneen, Co-principals of Cardiff Baptist College, consider how Jesus has set out on his journey towards Jerusalem and ask "Can we let go of our false views of God to embrace the God who Jesus reveals and to follow without question?" You can access the five minute video "Follow Me" from the Fuelcast website or scan this QR code to view the first in the series based on Luke 9:51-62
"The mission of the seventy" is the second in this video series released on 16th February. Rev Dr Graig Gardiner reflects on what 'baggage' each of us may need to lay down, just so that the Kingdom of God might be revealed through the kindness of a stranger.
"The good Samaritan" is the third in the series from the Fuelcast library on 19th February. It's easy to see those who are similar to us as our neighbours. However, as Hannah Smethurst of @CardiffBapCol & Caersalem Baptist Church says, by loving our neighbours we are showing a love that stretches beyond boundaries.