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Vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad: no better time than Lent to reflect

Vicar of St George's Church, Baghdad: no better time than Lent to reflect

The vicar of St George's Church, Baghdad, has written a special reflection focusing on how Lent is a special time to refocus on God, to mark the launch of the Reflections for Lent 2013 app from Church House Publishing.

Cn Andrew WhiteCanon Andrew White writes: "For all in this land Lent is combined with the fast of Nineveh and is an intense time of giving thanks to the Lord… In the midst of our immense suffering we remember the suffering of our Lord, culminating in his intense suffering on the Cross. That time though was also his greatest time of glory and also our greatest time of glory. So this is a time when we all draw near to God and He draws near to us. There is no better time to do this than to find time to reflect."

The full reflection is available at: www.chpublishing.co.uk

Lent 2013 begins on Ash Wednesday (13th February) and ends on Easter Eve (30th March). Many treat this time as a way of preparation for Easter. The concept of fasting for '40 days' (Sundays are sometimes excluded by those observing Lent) is to reflect the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert. More on Lent is available at http://www.churchofengland.org/our-faith/being-a-christian/lent.aspx

Reflections for Lent 2013 app, containing daily reflections on Bible passages by four leading authors, produced by Aimer Media for Church House Publishing, is available from iTunes for £1.99 at http://itun.es/i6JV4Gd

The contributors to Reflections for Lent are: the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell (Bishop of Chelmsford), the Rt Revd Steven Croft (Bishop of Sheffield), Barbara Mosse (Anglican priest and writer) and Mark Oakley (Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral).

  

Notes 

The full reflection reads: 

Again we are about to enter the time of Lent, the time when we remember the
time of Jesus fasting in the wilderness and the approach of Easter. For many it
is the time they will give up something; hopefully for all followers of Christ
it will also be the time they take up further spiritual reflection. Apps, books and e-books such as Reflections for Lent help us regain our right focus.

For those of us here in Iraq, Lent is longer and has a very real focus. Here
Lent is preceded by two further important events. First is the fast of Jonah,
three days with no food at all. Many will not even drink in this period. This
remembers Jonah in the belly of the whale when he did not eat or drink. Then we
come to the fast of Nineveh for 10 days leading into Lent. This remembers the
fasting of the Assyrians, when they turned from their evil ways to the Almighty.

The fact is that to this day all the Assyrians are Christian and all the Christians of Iraq come from Nineveh.

So for all in this land Lent is combined with the fast of Nineveh and is an
intense time of giving thanks to the Lord for sending us a miserable evangelist
in a submarine, but also a time of suffering and glory. In the midst of our
immense suffering we remember the suffering of our Lord, culminating in his
intense suffering on the Cross. That time though was also his greatest time of
Glory and also our greatest time of glory. So this is a time when we all draw
near to God and He draws near to us. There is no better time to do this than to
find time to reflect.

Canon Andrew White, Baghdad