On Wednesday, many Christians began observing Lent, a time of prayer and fasting during the weeks leading up to Easter. Although some denominations don’t recognize Lent, the practice has a long history among both Protestants and Catholics.
There’s a tradition that during Lent, Christians will give up a particular luxury they enjoy, such as unhealthy foods or even television. But this year, some pastors are calling on their flocks to take a slightly different approach: don’t just give something up – give it away.
The Rev. Bill Hewitt from the Church of Scotland encouraged his congregation this week to reach out with their time and talents to others in need: “I prefer the idea of Lent being a time of giving of ourselves in service to others. This runs contrary to a culture that suggests that the only thing that motivates people is money.”
Lent is a great opportunity for Christians to bless others while denying themselves. We can turn our thoughts not only to the needs of the neighbor across the street, but also to the poor and downtrodden around the world. Of course, not everyone can personally travel to a faraway land to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but those of us who stay home have an important role to play in supporting those who go.
Our Cross International mission partners simply could not do what they do without the generous giving of our Christian donors. Whether you choose to feed orphans at the Kondanani Children’s Village in Malawi or build houses for poor families in the Philippines, your gifts make a real difference. Check out our online project catalog to see how you can be a blessing in someone’s life today!