After Jesus said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As Jesus came to Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he gave two disciples a task. He said, “Go into the village over there. When you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If someone asks, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say, ‘Its master needs it.’” Those who had been sent found it exactly as he had said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “Its master needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their clothes on the colt, and lifted Jesus onto it. As Jesus rode along, they spread their clothes on the road. As Jesus approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole throng of his disciples began rejoicing. They praised God with a loud voice because of all the mighty things they had seen. They said, “Blessings on the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens.” Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, scold your disciples! Tell them to stop!” He answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout.”
Weekly Lenten Discipline: Giving
When you find yourself in a space such as Lent, where life seems thinner than usual and the journey more focused than normal, what do people of faith do to keep journeying on? In ancient times, rituals helped to remind the people of the promise, as yet unfulfilled, and gave reason to trust what seemed to be impossible.
In this week’s Scripture, we hear how the disciples went to get a donkey for Jesus to ride. We also hear how they put their clothes on the back of the donkey, so presumably Jesus could ride comfortably. Along the way to Jerusalem, people laid out their clothes in front of the donkey, praising Christ as he road along. On Palm Sunday, we remember this moment and we shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.” As we remember this day many years ago, we are also called to consider what might we have done on that day. Would we have laid out our clothes to greet the king? We also ask:
“What does God require of us this day?”
This week’s Lenten discipline, giving, provides another practice that helps us respond to God’s love and grace.
One way we respond to God’s love for us is by giving back a small piece of what God has given us. It is important to remember that there are many ways to say thank you to God. Options include:
- Drawing God a picture.
- Writing God a letter
- Singing God a song.
- Giving clothing, food, money, or other items to help others.
Our gifts come in many different forms. God does not need us to give, but we choose to give a little piece of what we have to say thank you to God for all that our creator has given us.
Discuss and Share:
- I wonder what gifts/blessings God has given me?
- I wonder how can I give/bless God and others?
Begin this week by setting out a basket in a special place in your home. Invite your family to practice giving back to God by visiting this special place each day, saying thank you to God for all the things you’re grateful for, then if/when you choose, place a gift for God in the basket. Tell your family members that no one has to see them give and unless family members want to share, they will not be required to say what they gave. Our gifts are not for other people’s judgment; they are a personal way we can say thank you. Then, at the end of the week, at a special family meal and/or gathering, present these gifts to God, say thank you for all the gifts your family received that week, and then offer your gifts to God.
You might choose to say a prayer over the offerings, concluding your prayer with these words: “And now we give you a piece of what you’ve given us, so that you can help others.”
The season of Lent provides a time to stop, reflect, give thanks, and practice different spiritual disciplines. This week, we continue our Lenten journey by finding ways to share God’s love with others through acts of giving. This discipline helps us:
- remember all that God has given us.
- find new ways to give back to God.
Through the discipline of giving, we give to/bless others as a way to say thank you to God for all God has done for us.
Through these weekly disciplines, you are building a toolbox for you and your family. These practices will strengthen your faith foundation, so that when the ground begins to shake, you can return to these disciplines as ways to ground yourself in your faith and what you KNOW deep down inside to be true. This is an important gift that you and your family can give to one another during this Lenten season.
Weekly Wondering Questions:
- I wonder what gifts/blessings God has given you?
- I wonder how you can give/bless God and others?
- I wonder where you saw the color purple this week?
- I wonder when you felt close to God this week?
- I wonder who showed you God’s love this week?
- I wonder how you showed God’s love to others?
Weekly Family Prayer:
You are always with us, guiding us and loving us. You tell us not to worry about what we will eat, drink, or wear; and you promise to take care of us. Thank you.
Help us find ways to say thank you to you and to others.
Lord, during this week of our Lenten journey, we give a little piece of what we have back to you. Take our gifts, bless them, and use them to help others. We know that getting ready for the mystery of Easter is big work. During this season, help us learn how to trust you, love you, and share your love with others.
Thank you for being with our family as we travel together, preparing our hearts and minds to enter into the mystery of Easter. Bless us in our work. It’s in your holy name, we pray, Amen..