Don’t give up Chocolate this Lent – give it AWAY!
Several times I’ve given up chocolate for the 40days of Lent leading up to Easter, then gone mad on Easter Day stuffing myself silly with Easter eggs! It didn’t seem quite right somehow. So this year I’m going to turn it on its head and make Lent a positive lead up to the greatest day in the year for Christians, doing the 40 days of Lent differently and instead of giving something up, giving something away,’ love bombs’!
For as many of the 40 days as I can manage I want to go round and do at least one act of kindness, and give a little bit of love away to someone least expecting it – ‘To put love where love is not’.
Someone I know recently lost her husband and is feeling quite lost. I’m going to pop one of Cadbury’s chocolate Hero’s through her letter box each day for a week, and then a ‘Someone up there likes you’ card. Then after a few days I’ll take some buttered hot cross buns round to her, and hope for an opportunity to remind her of the ‘the reason for the season’. I’ll then give her an Easter card or the lovely ‘One Friday’ booklet explaining what Jesus our hero did for us on Good Friday, and then invite her to come to church with me on Easter Day when we are showing the brilliant film ‘Second Chance’.
I’ve got loads of other ideas I want to try out over these 40 days (see some of them below) and have put together a wall chart with 40 possible ‘acts of kindness’ which I’m giving to anyone who want to join in and do Lent differently this year.
Imagine if all us Holy Spirit undercover agents in the world came out of hiding and for 40 days ‘love bombed’ our patches for Jesus, what an impact that would make. And still eating chocolate as we did it!
Let the world know Jesus really is alive, really is out of the tomb, and is doing what He loves doing best, (and it’s not going to church !), but putting love where love is not in real people’s hearts.
These are just a few of the 40 Days Acts of Kindness I’m going to be trying, and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve come up with something you’re going to try
- Doing an unpleasant job for someone (putting dustbin out, changing a nappy, washing the dirty coffee mugs in the staff room at work))
- Giving the postman a bar of chocolate,
- Having a cup of tea or fish and chips with someone who lives alone
- Giving some flowers to someone who might be lonely or sad,
- Making something to give away (painting a picture, a cake, something you do well),
- Smiling at five people as you walk around, sit on the bus, train.
- Secretly chalking a nice message on a neighbours path or front step, (but not when it’s going to rain!)
- Ringing someone up and just say ‘I was thinking of you today’,
- Picking up litter from your road, block of flats, park
- Saying hello and chatting with someone you’ve not spoken to before.
- Offering to baby sit, or granny sit, or give a carer a break
Be creative and look out for opportunities to do random acts of kindness, and for more ideas ask for our 40 Days wall chart
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven’. ( Jesus as quoted by Matthew 5:14-17 )
May Jesus use us to bring love and hope to people day in and day out for 40 days
May Easter 2016 really be a ‘good news’ time!