Lent reflections begin, in partnership with Christian Aid

The Moderator of the General Assembly is encouraging the Church to explore the meaning of Lent through a series of specially commissioned daily articles which start tomorrow on the first day of Lent, and continue throughout the 40 days. Here, Rt Rev John Chalmers explains his initiative, which he is undertaking in partnership with Christian Aid.

"Following up on the successful Advent Reflections series on the Church website in the run up to Christmas, I have commissioned another list of friends to contribute to further series of reflections during the period of Lent. This time I am delighted that we are collaborating with Christian Aid in order to bring a sharper edge to our Lenten journey.

Each day throughout Lent the Homepage of the Church of Scotland website is featuring Christian Aid's count your blessings diary; as you click on the count your blessings icon it will lead you to a short reflection which expands on the theme for the day. Within the expanded reflection there is a further hyperlink and, for those who are interested, it leads to one of Christian Aid's in-depth theological articles

In other words, we are giving people an opportunity to experience their Lenten journey at different levels and, in this way, we hope to open eyes and minds and hearts to the complexity and the urgency of building the Kingdom in both spiritual and practical ways.

As Moderator I have provided the first reflection for Ash Wednesday and other friends have provided other thoughts that will help us to count our blessings throughout Lent. At the weekends we have access to the material which Christian Aid itself has written for Lent; this also contains resources that may be used in worship. It is my hope and prayer that the across the Church we will be sharing some common themes as we make our way to the Cross and then to the Easter Garden.

Then as we celebrate the resurrection and the promise of life after death, we will be able to pray and work so that the poorest of the world's poor might also have the opportunity to enjoy life before death.

The Advent series was put together at the very last minute, but it attracted as many as 2,500 to 3,000 hits each day; this time we hope you will share the link through Facebook and Twitter,and publish this information in our pew leaflets and newsletters we hope to reach a far greater audience.

We'd like to invite people to send us an image inspired by their Lenten journey which we will share in a gallery on our Facebook page. The image can be personal, spiritual, funny, or thought provoking, and through sharing we hope others may find inspiration through the 40 days of Lent.

Please send your images to lent.churchofscotland@outlook.com

I offer you the challenge of seeing this go viral and in so doing expanding the impact of Christian Aid's important work."