Read: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
One of my favorite authors is Father James Martin, S.J., known as “the official chaplain of The Colbert Report”. His writing is entertaining to read, and I have learned more about my faith from his books than from any of my seminary classes.
Every year since he was in college at the University of Pennsylvania, several of his college buddies have collaborated to come up with Father Jim’s Lenten sacrifice. This stems from a conversation in which they decided that he should not be allowed to choose what he gives up every year. Sacrifices have ranged from orange soda to Hostess Sno Balls™ to oregano. I look forward to finding out what his buddies choose every year, and it inspired me to do something similar a few years ago and raffle off the chance to decide my Lenten Sacrifice on my blog.
Some of the things I have been asked to do include:
- Finding empty churches and praying in them twice per week
- Praying for a different person each day and someone I dislike every week
- Following a modified Coptic Orthodox fast (no meat, dairy, fish, or oil)
Have I loved doing all of them? Not particularly, especially the Coptic fast when all I wanted was a tuna sub from Subway with extra pickles. Have they changed me and made my life better? They definitely reminded me of Jesus while I was doing them, and I think that is the point of all of this: to focus on Jesus as we journey toward Good Friday and Easter.
Lord, help me to hold to my sacrifices this Lent and to do so without whining… too much. Amen.