Lent is that time for us to be still, breathe and prayerfully contemplate Jesus’ giving His life for our sins, so that we might truly be in awe of the risen Christ on Easter. We give up or give to others as a way to model Christ in our own lives and to remind us of Him daily. All through Lent we look to the cross, knowing what is coming, discerning what His death means for us. We look inside ourselves and ask, “Why did He die for me?”
Jesus died for all of us because of our Heavenly Father’s great love for each of us. We take this time during Lent to remind ourselves of God’s Love for us and re-dedicate our lives to living the way Jesus modeled for us during His life.
Prayer, Sacrifice and Giving are the cornerstones of Lent.
How we live for Christ differs with each of us, as does how we observe Lent. Lent should leave its mark on us just as Christ’s sacrifice and God’s love leaves it’s mark on us. So as we choose our Lenten observances, we should be honest about what will lead us closer to the Risen Lord on Easter morning.
Last year Shelly and I here on Of Sound Mind and Spirit focused on giving to others for the 40 days of Lent rather than giving up the usual things. And by giving of yourself during Lent, we were focused outward on showing God’s love to others. Anytime you give of yourself it involves sacrifice and prayer on your part. In the spirit of encouraging others to sacrifice and put others first, we share our ways of giving during Lent using #Givefor40 on social media. (Please join in with the #Givefor40 hashtag this Lenten season.)
My children helped me create a list of 40 Ways to Give for 40 Days last year. Helping create the list gave them ownership in it and got them excited about looking for ways to give during Lent. One of the absolute easiest items on the list, “Share a Smile with Someone Everyday,” is their favorite. Such a simple idea to give someone a smile, but you never know what that smile might mean for the other person at that moment.
How do you observe Lent as a family? Does it change you as you prepare to meet the Risen Lord on Easter? What is on your list of Lenten Observances as a family that might involve giving of yourself rather than giving up?