Check out our 2018 Lenten Guide for information about embarking on a FastPrayGive journey with us.
Monday, March 19
I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and to read the other, for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of our hearts, all our privacies are open? — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Fast from secrecy. Foster a more open relationship with someone in your life.
Pray for people who are burdened by secrets in their lives.
Give an anonymous donation to a charity.
Tuesday, March 20
The word “lent” is not an ancient one. The original name for this period that begins on the fortieth day before Easter was tessarakoste in Greek and quadragesima in Latin, both of which refer to forty. In the Late Middle Ages, when the church started using local languages more, many cultures switched to a local word that suggested “fortieth day”. In Germany and the Netherlands, however, the word used was the word for spring, “lenz” in German, “lente” in Dutch, which literally mean “long”, marking the spring equinox when the days start getting longer than the nights. This usage traveled with the Anglo-Saxons to Britain, and into the English language.
This morning, March 20, is the vernal equinox. Spring and fall equinoxes occur midway between the longest and shortest days of the year, when the sun is directly over the equator and spends exactly half the day above the horizon and half below. (If you’re keeping track, days are already a bit longer because the sun keeps giving light even when its center-point has passed below the horizon.) From this point until the summer solstice, the days continue to get longer.
In Persian and Zoroastrian culture, the spring equinox marks the beginning of the new year, Nowruz (which means new day.) It is celebrated as the new year in many places that were once part of the Persian Empire, including Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and much of Central Asia and the Caucuses.
Consider having the traditional Nowruz dinner, Sabzi Polo Mahi — white fish served with green rice pilaf (colored and flavored with green herbs.) Soak white fish fillets in milk and dust them with flour mixed with curry powder and turmeric, then sauté them. Stir lots of chopped green herbs — parsley, coriander, chives, dill and fenugreek — into basmati rice while it’s cooking.
Fast from listening to your mp3 player, or music or any electronic noise at all today.
Pray in silence for 10 minutes. Tell Jesus anything you wish to say or recount the events of the day to him with your comments on each one. Listen in silence for what you might need to hear from God.
Give the rest of the time you would normally spend listening to your mp3 player or radio to someone who needs your attention today, or donate the cost of a downloaded album or item to your FastPrayGive Bowl.
Wednesday, March 21
The Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer is repeated daily by millions who have not the slightest intention of letting anyone’s will be done but their own. — Aldous Huxley
Fast from your own willfulness and stubbornness.
Pray to see your life from God’s perspective.
Give up a long held grievance.
Thursday, March 22
I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other. — Harvey Fierstein
Fast from being overly serious.
Pray for the gift of good humor and the ability to see humor in life.
Give everyone multiple opportunities to laugh. (Forward a funny email, take a friend to a comedy show or movie.)
Friday, March 23
If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food. — Sally Edwards
Fast from any food that is cooked or processed (e.g. french fries, rice, bread, canned vegetables).
Pray for the well-being of our environment.
Give the money you would’ve spent on processed foods to your FastPrayGive Bowl.
Saturday, March 24
It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. – Albert Einstein
Fast from excessive electricity consumption.
Pray for people in the world who don’t have the infrastructure to have electricity.
Give $2 to your FastPrayGive Bowl.
Sunday, March 25- Palm Sunday
Today we celebrate Passion (Palm) Sunday. We receive palms during worship in memory of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem where he was hailed by the people with palm branches. As he enters Jerusalem, Jesus moves closer to his death on the cross. So, these palms symbolically point us toward not merely Christ’s death but also His resurrection. Another lesser-known reference to palm branches is in the book of Revelation, where it speaks of the saints in heaven “wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9) The palms suggest that they too are triumphant over death and have come to live in a new life with God. The white robes also remind us of our Baptism, of which we are constantly reminded throughout Lent. Palm Sunday is a time of great hope in the Resurrection, that while Jesus is accepting his cross soon, the implement of his death will also become a symbol of new life for centuries to come.
Fast from unwelcoming behavior. Take your headphones off and talk to someone. Make small talk with a cashier. Ask someone how their day is going.
Pray for people who suffer from loneliness.
Give a call to someone who you think needs a friendly word.