Building New Relationships by Giving Up Stuff

Stop being a hoarder!  Guess what I am giving for lent.  Yes, we are all in that time of year where people give up things they love for lent.  A practice to create a spirit of penance, and focus on God, you know the things that matter.  In recent years, people will give up on the exercise of fasting, and giving up their beloved items for lent because often it makes them unbearable human beings which in turn can be anti-gospel.  Years I ago I decided to give up on "giving up" for lent.

Yet, this year I decided to take up the practice again.  Why?  As you can guess, working in the inner city I see my share of people who need the stuff I don't use.  So my wife and I realized that over the past year we have been collecting, and collecting stuff given to us.  In fact, we don't know what to do with it.  It becomes a contentious debate sometimes and this stuff often becomes a distraction from our daily focus of prayer, life, and family.

So for the forty days of fasting, penance and focusing on God's Word, we have decided to give up the things we don't need and give them to people who do need them.    

Obviously, there is probably about two hundred things I could give up for lent, but this made sense to me because this act brings the wider community into the picture of my penance.  After all,  penance is based on relationship building.  So by giving someone I don't know an extra coat I have not worn for three seasons and having a conversation with them about their story is just that--relationship building.  I do dare put this challenge out to others, it just may help you focus on the Gospel news more and to help build the kingdom by giving help to someone in need.

Happy Forty Days!

Popular posts from this blog

Sermon Feb. 18/18: A new Conscience in Christ

Ash Wednesday: Treasures, Fasting, and Increasing God

My Father's House: Jesus and Purifying the Temple