Lent: 40 days of “Taking Up” Good Deeds
The word “Lent” traces back to Old Germanic words for “long” which seems appropriate for anyone anxiously awaiting warmer temperatures. Originally Lent was a time of discipline to prepare for Easter; 40 days dedicated to reflection, repentance, and anticipation for the hope of Salvation offered through Christ’s death and resurrection.
If you observe the yearly tradition of Lent, perhaps you’ve considered the age old question, “what am I giving up for Lent?”
Maybe today you’re regretting your decisions from Fat Tuesday as you embrace 40 days of sugar-free. Whatever it may be that you decided to forego as an act of sacrifice and discipline, we invite you to consider taking up something in its place.
Each day of Lent presents an opportunity for you to do something good for yourself and for others. “Taking up” good deeds and acts of kindness not only honors Christ’s teachings of love and service, but also provides a nice distraction from the temptation to cheat on your Lenten vows.
What can you take up? A few examples:
- Mailing thoughtful letters to friends and family
- Creating a prayer list and sticking by it each day
- Volunteering on the weekends
- Dropping off nonperishable groceries to local food pantries
- Calling instead of texting
- Better yet, face-to-face meetings with friends
- Donating small amounts to a different charity each week
- Tutoring students after school
- Writing a note to a long lost friend
- Writing a short story
- Paying for the person behind you in line
- Donating your old instrument to a child who wants to learn
- Calling your grandma
- Memorizing an inspirational quote or Bible verse to repeat and share
- Reading in place of watching television
- Delivering meals to homebound senior citizens