A challenge for Lent

Do Lent generously

This coming Wednesday, 5th March is Ash Wednesday. It’s the start of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter (excluding Sundays) when Christians have traditionally reflected on Jesus’ willing journey to death, and on our own need of the forgiving grace of God. Traditionally, this has involved ‘giving something up’, as a symbol of a wholehearted focus on God.

At this morning’ service, Jonathan encouraged us to express that focus on God not through giving something up, but in doing something positive.

We watched a video about the ’40 acts’ initiative, the dream of a Christian charity Stewardship. The idea is that as an individual, or a family, as a group we sign up to commit ourselves to doing some positive act of love and grace each day of Lent, expressing through that act the reality of Jesus. Full details of each day’s suggested activity aren’t available in advance, but if we sign up, we’ll receive a daily e-mail with details of the day’s ‘act.’  There will also, from Wednesday, be a daily ’40 acts blog’ to encourage us”

The 40 acts website describes the idea:

Lent is usually about ‘giving stuff up’, isn’t it? What if you could add something transformational to the traditional?

What if you could give up chocolate and give the money to your favourite charity? What if you could turn the TV off and spend more time helping your neighbour? What if your Lent, this year, was a preparation for a lifetime of big-heartedness that reflected God’s amazing generosity? Well, that’s where 40acts – the generosity challenge from Christian charity Stewardship – comes in.

Click here to see general information about what’s involved each day, and to sign up as an individual, and here to sign up as a group.  There’s also a ‘children’s 40 acts’ wall poster available from the download page.

Most of us already do many acts of kindness each day, perhaps almost without thinking. This project is an invitation to show kindness thoughtfully, and perhaps to those whom in routine circumstances our kindness might not reach.  Perhaps when Easter comes we’ll feel inspired to continue these random acts of kindness in the name of Jesus  which bring light into the lives of those around us.

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