I was raised Pentecostal. My father was a “Holy Roller,” my mom a Baptist, and I settled somewhere in the middle. Catholic or no, I’ve always liked the idea of Lent. Giving something up for God, who gave so much for us, seems a good way to say thanks.
But have you ever noticed? It’s often all about us. We surrender things we love, sure. We give up our coffee, our sugar, our television. We do so for God; but the end result is often to our benefit.
This year, it’s different.
This year the church I attend is joining countless others in “Seek God for the City 2009.” Starting Wednesday, February 25 – for forty days leading to Palm Sunday – we have been praying the same promises, for the same people, on behalf of the same countries. If I thought it a good idea when I picked up the book, I think it’s an amazing idea now. There are countries I never knew existed; there are groups of people I may complain about, but never thought to pray for.
Guess you might say I’m giving a bit of myself, to seek God’s blessing for others.
And prayer seems a natural extension to the usual Lenten offering. After all, Christ gave his very life to save the lives of others; it’s only fitting that we should give a few minutes that we might be a part of the same.