With November days becoming cooler and shorter, we realize it will soon be Thanksgiving. During this pandemic, as we prepare for this season, may we remember what we can be grateful for. I am thankful for the family of Lincoln Park United Methodist Church and for the privilege of serving as your pastor.
We are about to enter the reflective season of Lent.
Lent is a 40-day period, (not counting Sundays) beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter. The Lenten season is an opportunity to renew and deepen our relationship with Jesus and our relationships with others.
Traditionally, many have found Lent to be a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
During Lent, we seek time to pray more – alone and with others. We might choose to read something that will nourish our spiritual life and lead us to more focused personal prayer.
Those who are able to fast usually cut back on what they eat and drink. Not only will this benefit us physically, but it will also help us in our spiritual life. Fasting often leads us to understand that we depend on God to nourish us in every way. While fasting, we are encouraged to recognize the blessings we receive every day, which leads us to be ever more grateful and generous. I remember as a child, growing up in India, it was a practice in our family to “give up” something like meat or desserts. By giving up these food items, the family saved money, and with that money the family supported certain projects in the community and beyond.
When we give up something in order to support someone in need, this is almsgiving.
By prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, our spiritual life, personal life, and our outreach to those on the margins of life is improved, and ultimately, it will lead us to have a deeper personal encounter with Christ.
Our finance committee and our church council at Lincoln Park has decided to use our Lenten special offering to support the “Well Project” as part of our 75th Anniversary observances. Our “Well Project” is going to provide fresh water to many who do not have the privilege of having fresh drinking water in Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania.
It has always amazed me to see what can be done when everyone contributes even a little. Our contributions can make a great a difference in the lives of those who live on the margins of life.
Jesus says, “whatever you do for the least of your brothers and sisters, you do it for me.”
Our charity and almsgiving become an encounter with Christ that brings us joy.
Wish you all a blessed Lenten season!
Peace and Blessings,