Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Easter season.
Typically those from a Roman Catholic or Protestant tradition use the next 40 days to position themselves for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection by first sacrificing a daily comfort in their own lives in response to the sacrifice Jesus made when he died on the cross.
Both Easter and Lent involve some spiritual and emotional preparation, so if Lent seemed to surprise you on your calendar this year, I would love to give you the opportunity to posture your heart during this meaningful time by participating with the Orange County Rescue Mission and the work we do to care for the least, the last and the lost. In light of the purpose behind the next 40 days of Lent, this should also be a meaningful time, rather than a miserable count-down to the next day that you will get to once again enjoy your coffee or chocolate.
For those that prefer to give something up in order to experience sacrifice and discipline, I would love to offer you the opportunity to extend the funds that you will save in your budget to the cause of providing the basic essentials for the men, women and children that are currently working through our programs at one of our seven campuses. You can simply visit our donation page and give a simple gift of $1.48 to buy the homeless a meal. Or you can visit our ‘urgent needs’ list to see what items we need on a daily basis for both our residents and the homeless that we serve on the streets throughout the week at our outreaches.
If you resolve to give up technology or other activities that seem to absorb hours of your day, I would love to extend the opportunity to volunteer at one of our campuses with your friends or family. Use your new-found time to invest in the relationships that you deeply value and build new relationships with those that need honorable people in their lives. Get involved with the Orange County Rescue Mission and start volunteering now!
Implore your co-workers or class mates to join you in a team effort of a blanket drive, canned food collection or hygiene kit assembly. Recognize this season of new beginnings and new life by helping us provide those simple deliverables for men, women and children in crisis so that we are able to welcome them into a program that will empower them to life transformation.
These are just a few ideas to open up the doors for you to make Lent meaningful this year. Looking forward to Easter and the celebration on the horizon, this time of preparation and meditation allows us all to keep our life purpose in perspective and remember that while we make ourselves available in simply ways, others in desperate need might experience radical life change. Help us spread the word and get your friends and family members involved to help give hope.