The season of Lent is often focused on giving up something or doing without. Many Christians today observe Lent by “fasting” in a modern way, by giving up something, whether it’s potato chips, social media or watching reality TV, for example. But this year, consider a different approach and GIVE a simple gift that will help someone in need.
While fasting takes the form of refraining from eating or giving something up, it is primarily a spiritual discipline designed to tame the body so that we can concentrate on higher things. It is more than a means of developing self-control. Fasting should be linked to our concern for those who are forced to fast by their poverty, those who suffer from injustice, or those in need for any reason. Fasting can help us realize the suffering that so many people in our world experience every day, and it should lead us to greater efforts to alleviate that suffering.
More time should be given to prayer during Lent. We pray to grow in our relationship with God, and ask God for guidance on how to live our lives. In our prayer, we also thank God for the gifts we have been given, and we pray for those who have less than we do.
Lent is a time to express gratitude for all that God has given to us. The Bible says disciples should give back from their resources, which include not only treasure, but time and talents. Monetary donations are one way to show gratitude. Another is sharing your time, which could mean visiting a shut-in, helping an elderly person, tutoring a child, mentoring a young mother, or treating someone with kindness. And if we cannot do something extra, we can cut back or make do with less in our own lives to benefit others and our world.
Get Up & Give
Methodist Family Health gives everyone an opportunity to observe Lent with Get Up & Give – our collection drive from March 1 through April 13. Over 40 days, we collect much-needed in-kind items (socks, underwear, school supplies, recreational items and more) for the children, youth and families in our care. We also accept cash donations. Your generosity will bring a smile to the faces of those we serve in our hospital, group homes, emergency shelter, and other programs. We invite Arkansans to make a difference by donating to Get Up & Give. Every gift is a very tangible sign of love and care to those who turn to Methodist Family Health for hope for the future.