All of us have circles: friends, family, immediate and wider communities – the list goes on. Today's act will prepare you for a generous Lent of connecting with and serving these circles of people.
"He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
(Luke 10:27-29)from Michael O'Neill, Stewardship
As we start 40acts – whether this is your first time or your sixth – let’s begin by thinking about the people in our lives . . .and the people our lives.
I suspect there will be many loved ones in our inner circles who will feel warmly affirmed and cared for throughout the next 40 days. Beneficiaries of coffee, cake, impromptu meals and visits, hand-written notes and even active listening! But what about the people around us? Those you come into fleeting moments of contact with each week?
Your neighbour? The shop assistant who offers to pack your bags and counts out your change? The cleaner you pass each night as you leave work? The bin men? The receptionist in the doctor’s surgery?
You know their face, and perhaps their name, but we rarely know their story.
The next forty days will be fun, rewarding, challenging and profoundly counter-cultural. Are you prepared to be counter-cultural?
Jesus was. And 2,000 years later, Redemption is just as counter-cultural as it was at the time of the crucifixion. It is still free. It is still available in abundance and it is still available to everyone in – and around – our lives.
So who are you connected to?
You already know the inner circle. They are your friends, family and colleagues. But just how deep are these relationships? And what about those in the wider circles around you? What might God have in store for them – through you – over the next forty days? And what might God have in store for you – through them?
Our vision at Stewardship is to see the world encounter Jesus through the generosity of His church. It’s what inspired us to create 40acts six years ago and what drives us to make this Lent the most generous yet.