By David Holmes

I looked out of the window last week as the rain lashed down yet again on another grey day.  The wind had got up and the temperature had dropped quite significantly.  It made me wonder how much longer this miserably soggy winter will continue. 

That thought has probably crossed many of our minds when we see the sodden fields whilst we negotiate the floods and potholes that have proliferated all over the parish. 

The generally dismal state of the world, fed into our eyes and ears daily, can also bear down on us.

It’s almost too easy to equate winter with a dark night for the soul.  Perhaps even to question our purposes and where we are going in our lives.

But could that questioning perhaps be a positive thing to do?

One of the things about Lent is that it offers us the opportunity to reflect on our lives, on how we relate to other people and on our own spiritual being.  By putting aside a few moments from time to time to think calmly and quietly we can hope to see the darkness clear, and a glimmer of light appear.

As the days get longer we can see the stirrings of spring in the trees and the hedges, so that although the dreary weather may seem to be unrelenting we know that what is burgeoning around us is actually a promise of brighter days.

Lent can be a spiritual Spring for us.   It is the perfect time to rejoice that winter, the dark night of the soul, has ended and new opportunities to serve the Lord can be found.

As we are reminded by Hosea (6:3), “let us press on to know the Lord; his appearing is as sure as the dawn”.