Forget Nostradamus: in ancient history ie 1969, Messrs Zager and Evans (an American rock-pop duo) predicted that ‘if God’s acoming, he oughta make it by then’, referring to the specific year 7510. They continued to observe that in ten-thousand years, humanity’s reign will have ended. This was echoed by a sometime Bishop of London (the tall one with the beard) who noted that humanity was the first species with the capability to bring about its own extinction. Heady stuff.

Whatever your personal theology, humanity is and has been a stunning work of creation by a force that has care for that creation. I cannot subscribe to the argument that humanity, love, music and fine art are a coincidence of particles coalescing in a vacuum. No! Christians also hold that the Creator, in taking one big punt in our creation, took a further gamble by becoming one among us, in the world whose eventual progress was predicted, not inaccurately, by the likes of Zager, Evans, Asimov and Chartres.

We are loved, we were given the gift of love and this Lent, we have the chance to do something remarkable. We can give stuff up or we can take something on, but I urge all who read to take a punt on the Creator who sees virtue in our remarkable existence. Do something good or give up something less good, but either way this Lent, let’s do our bit to make the great sacrifice of Good Friday more than a hapless bet. If the Lord is granting us 10,000 years, let’s make them and our world just a bit better.

Fr David