“What are you giving up for Lent?” Many of us have heard (or asked!) this question as the season of Lent approaches. Usually this gets translated as a restriction we are placing on ourselves for the 40 days of Lent. But this Lent, we will be exploring what it truly means to give up.
During Lent, there are three spiritual practices that Christians especially observe. These three spiritual practices are those that are highlighted by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6): prayer, fasting, and giving. In 2017, we focused on the spiritual discipline of prayer. We studied the Lord’s Prayer as a model for prayer and practiced praying through it each Wednesday at noon. In 2018, we focused on fasting. Each week in Lent we held a communal fast (alcohol, social media, yelling, food, etc). This Lent we will be focusing on the last spiritual discipline: giving.
Each week, we will be focusing on a different way of giving up to God: giving time, giving talents, and giving treasure. I will give a brief introduction to each of these different ways of giving up. Then we will feature reflections from members of the congregation as to how they have given their time, talents, and treasures up to God.
In his book, The Good of Giving Up, Fr. Aaron Damiani writes, “In books, sermons, and teachings on Lent, fasting seems to get the most attention and generosity the least. Many who practice Lent aren’t even aware that generosity is a historic practice of the season…And because of generosity, our fasting and prayer have a relational impact, turning us outward so that we do not overlook Christ in our neighbor.” Giving up means that we let go of things so they can be a blessing to others. Join with us this Lent as we seek to offer our time, talents, and treasures to God.
What are you giving up for Lent?