Today's Church Times cartoon: preemptive explanation

This is a blog post about my cartoon in today’s Church Times. Unfortunately it would be unfair of me to post it here given that the Church Times have paid me to draw it and so it is right that they have exclusive first use of it. The link is here, but it is subscriber…

lent cartoon 10

This is a blog post about my cartoon in today’s Church Times. Unfortunately it would be unfair of me to post it here given that the Church Times have paid me to draw it and so it is right that they have exclusive first use of it. The link is here, but it is subscriber only, and I’m aware that the extract above will be too small to see as it is long and thin. Apologies, therefore, to those for whom this post will be meaningless.

This isn’t an apology (which was what I originally entitled it), more of an explanation. I felt in hindsight, having submitted the cartoon, that some clergy might feel that I am getting at them and criticising of the organising of lots of Lenten things. This was not my intention. The cartoon is perhaps saying something about the vast range of Lent resources and activities that are available – are there too many? But in truth the cartoon is probably more about how someone like me, whose job it is to think about Christianity all day every day, keeps their belief alive. The danger is that one becomes overwhelmed by worthy activities and spiritual messages. The suggestion is that, for me, the best Lenten fast is possibly to fast from Lent itself.

I don’t know, what do you think?

12 Comments

  1. I think you are spot on Dave.
    Perhaps we might give up gimicks, sorry ‘resources’, for lent.

  2. Robin, Thank you.

    That said some people who read this site produce really very good Lenten resources (books, blogs, etc etc), and I don’t want to write them all off in one stroke. Some of them are brilliant.

  3. It made me smile when I saw it in the CT today (mind you, your cartoons usually do), and I’m clergy. In fact, as an SSM whose Lent is very far from Lenten at the moment, due to work pressures, I’m wondering whether this abstinence is Lenten in and of itself. Though I’m not sure my training incumbent would agree…

  4. I think you are probably highlighting something very important here Dave. I come from a Free Church tradition that doesn’t really do Lent. Normally it just passes me by. But this year, I have been amazed by the number of Lent resources, websites and such that have passed my way. No doubt the number has been growing over the years, but they seem to have reached a critical mass where even Free church people stir without tripping over the latest lenten book.

  5. Dave
    Yes, spot on.
    As a Christian ‘professional’, I would really value permission and space for less ‘Busyness’ during Lent

  6. I thought it was hilarious.

    😀

    Though interestingly I’ve found out this year that Lent observance is alive and well among people on non-Christian forums I belong to, lot of people seem to think it’s a good idea including someone who described himself as a ‘mild Buddhist’.

    So maybe we’re just targeting the wrong people!

  7. “If it’s Lent, who borrowed it?” someone once said, and unfortunately I don’t know who that was. As a very liberally minded Christian I really enjoyed today’s cartoon in the Church Times. It spoke to me as I have also seem to have been overwhelmed by so many Lenten courses and resources this year. I would like to fit more in but my schedule is alreay too hectic. Maybe I should give up work for Lent?

  8. Can I offer the perspective of an odd-ball here?

    I am an ordained British Methodist minister but I worked as a minister for only three years before going back to my native United States to be near my parents.

    So my perspective is one of British lay person, British minister, American “lay person”.

    As a minister, Lent and Holy Week were far more busy and overwhelming than December and Christmas. The only difference between the two seasons is that everyone thinks you’re busy at Christmas and no one thinks you’re busy during Lent or Holy Week. Lent rates a big fat zero on the sympathy scale. So your cartoon, Dave, is absolutely spot-on.

    Now, as a “lay person”, I had before and have again the luxury of choice.

    Bottom line, I think, is that Lent takes a heck of a lot of work (note the euphemism) for clergy and offers a nice but not overwhelming selection of choices for lay people. In my experience, anyway.

  9. I had the same thoughts about Advent. I and my fellow preachers encourage the people we serve to slow down, divest of some of the secular busy-ness and then here are all these Advent things on offer to help you do that!

    I’m going rethink both preparation seasons.

  10. Yes, you’re right on the money with this one, Dave. I appear to have given up Lent for Lent, if that makes any sense. I have no grand scheme to give this or that up, and I also have no thought through plan to take up certain things.

    I’m looking to do the best I can under God with each day, which is hopefully a reasonable starting point whatever the season 🙂

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