Lenten Discipline — March 8

Lenten discipline of the day: 

Give it away.

I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.  In any and all circumstances, I have the learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4: 12-13)

If you are reading this, odds are you have a place to live, enough to eat, and an income that sustains you, at least at this moment.  There may have been a time in your life in which you did not have much, and memories of that time still haunt you.  Or you may be concerned that what you have isn’t enough or may be taken from you at any moment.  

Paul writes about his experience of scarcity and abundance, and expresses gratitude to the  church in Philippi for their gifts to his ministry.  But Paul also knows that the source of all goodness comes to him through the goodness of God.  Relying on God’s mercy and love, Paul can live free of financial concerns.  

All of us want to feel the freedom of being relieved of anxiety surrounding our finances.  But sometimes, through the simple act of sharing even the smallest gift, we are blessed by experiencing God’s abundance and grace in surprising ways.  

Today, as a Lenten discipline, make a small donation — $10 or $20 — to the non-profit of your choice.  If you are Presbyterian, you may want to make a donation to One Great Hour of Sharing — an offering that benefits Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which works to restore communities around the world affected by natural and human-caused disasters, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, which works with Presbyterians and other partners to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in this country and others, as well as Self-Development of People, which works to empower economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people.

You can give through your Presbyterian congregation, by visiting the website at www.presbyterianmission.org/give-oghs, or give $10 instantly by texting “OGHS” to 20222.

Here’s a video from 2013 that makes a powerful statement about the work of the agencies that receive financial support from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.