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There is a minimalist trend for house interiors at present.
People are urged to adopt a certain cool, functional, well-designed Scandinavian style – without clutter and baggage.
And this appeals to harassed 21st-century types for lives today may be hurried, complicated, stressful and harassed. To offset this, we need our homes to be the opposite – clutter-free.
There is nothing new in this for 2019 sees the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus movement which was the architectural, design and art philosophy which sought out functionality, straight lines, white walls and clarity from the mess of the First World War, and the over-elaboration of the Victorians.
This week the church calendar comes round to the period of Lent.
In the public imagination, this is the time to give up something. Usually this means chocolate or alcohol. (If it is Fairtrade, it is Lent free!)
In truth, though, Lent is about focusing on the road to the cross and how much this way cost Jesus of Nazareth.
Lent is about re-focusing our thoughts on that which is truly important. If that means giving up on distractions that divert our energies, then that is okay.
Conversely, if it means taking up our own cross for the love of another, or in the cause of justice, then that is right.
There are times in life when we need to sort out our priorities; where style has won over substance. Lent provides this far more than a house makeover.
Walking with Christ though Lent to the cross brings us into the light of
resurrection life in all its fullness.
Rev Dugald Cameron, Kilmore and Oban.