Ash Wednesday: Pray, fast, give
Our heavenly Father sees everything. He sees differently because he looks at our hearts. In fact, God lives in our heart which for him should be like a beautiful garden. If it isn’t, Lent is the time to make our hearts a paradise for God … like the Garden of Eden which was really beautiful with lots of flowers and no weeds!! But often the garden in our heart needs a little work! It’s so sad, sometimes when God looks into our hearts God sees that some weeds have grown up, God sees that the flowers haven’t been watered, and all the leaves have fallen off the trees and have made a mess everywhere! This is what God sees when he looks into our hearts if we haven’t looked after them! Lent is a time to pull out those weeds, to plant some beautiful flowers, to tidy up the mess we have made and make everything beautiful again.
How do we do this? What can we do to make our garden –our heart– a beautiful place for God to live? What did Jesus say? Who remembers?
Jesus tells us to do good to others, by giving to them. We don’t give them an arm, but the love that is in our heart and all that means. Giving to others is a beautiful thing and it’s like planting a beautiful flower in our heart. Fasting is different. When we fast it is like all the weeds having nothing to eat. Fasting makes all the weeds – all the bad habits that have grown up, disappear. Lying, cheating, stealing … stuff like that.
So, when we give to others, we are making good habits. A good habit is like a rose or a lily to God, and God sees it growing up in our heart. Fasting makes all our bad habits – all those weeds in our heart, disappear. Praying is different again! What do you thing praying does? Praying is like watering the plants, as through prayer we are drinking in the love of God.
These are the three things we need to do for Lent. When we give to others, fast and pray we will make our hearts the most beautiful garden that God has ever seen!