Acts of Love During Lent
March 2021 Meditation
“Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:9-11 (NRSV)
By Dr. Rick Lanford, GUMF Regional Vice President
We are in the season of Lent. The Lenten season marks the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It is a time set aside for us to remember the sacrifice God made in sending His son to die for our sins. We can never repay this gift, but we can use this time to honor Him by giving up or taking on something that reminds us of His suffering. I have given up things like coffee, chocolate, bread, dessert, television, and fishing in the past. I have also taken up specific activities that I believe further the Kingdom of God here on earth.
One year I felt led to minister to those holding signs saying, “Hungry, Out of Work, Need Help” on the interstate ramp in my community. I decided that no matter who was standing there, either with a sign or without, I would give them something, either cash or an object, to help them along their life journey.
Sometimes I would catch myself wondering if this person will use the money I gave them for food. I found myself wanting to control how they spent it. The person did say that they were hungry, but will they use it to buy alcohol or cigarettes? So many times, I become judgmental, partially defeating the purpose of my Lenten passage. Like those I set out to help, I ask God for so many things and then use it in other ways than for my original request.
I continued this practice after Lent that year and still do so today. I have been blessed beyond measure by my interactions with these precious souls. May this season of Lent grant you opportunities to offer hospitality without grumbling. May your words give hope and renewal to those who are hurting. And may your acts of lovingkindness be an example of God’s love for all people.
Prayer: “O God, may our hearts remain steadfast and sure for you. May our words be spoken only with your love within our hearts. May the lives we touch experience healing and become whole. Forgive me for offering hospitality with grumbling in my heart. Give me your grace so that I might give with your love in my heart. Truly, the work you have begun in me will continue as I celebrate your Son, Jesus, in all that I say and do! Amen.”