Lent 2010 – week 1

Images of bottled waterImage via Wikipedia
This year’s theme for lent from this corner of the blogosphere, is “giving up consumerism”.
Now before you think of lentils and living in a tent, I’m aiming for more of a practical angle. We hear and read so much about reducing our carbon footprint, buying fair trade, giving to those in need. Jesus had plenty to say about that:
” When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:2-4 (New Living Translation)
Interesting how Jesus says “when” you give to someone in need not “if”. Now we all have finite resources. Some of us are too young or don’t have the time because of school work, to have a job. So how can we give?
What is true of the world stage, is true of our personal lives. If we wish to see others have more, we need to have less. Whether that is less “carbon” or less cash. It might mean we have to cut down on our carbon footprint, or it might mean buying less clothes so we can afford fair trade ones.
As John the baptist said:
“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:11 (New International Version)
And in our country, there are not many people with only “one coat”. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter how much money you have – in fact cutting down on the amount of “stuff” you consume saves you money.
Love clothes? Buy second hand. In charge of the electricity bill? Swap to Ecotricity.
As we approach lent, why not do the traditional thing, and give something up? See whether is really is so bad to do without bottled water and make to with tap.
Over the next few weeks I will be continuing to look at what it means to give up consumerism and consume, our fair share of the resources – so that we too can learn to give in the quiet – God is the only one who sees it – way that Jesus suggests.

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