February 19, 2010

Christians encouraged to serve others during Lent


by Benjamin Graham

Christians across Scotland have been urged to use Lent as an opportunity to serve others rather than to give up indulgences such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Rt Rev Bill Hewitt, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said Lent should be a time when people sacrifice their time and talents in the service of others.

“Many people use the discipline of these weeks to give up chocolate or fish suppers or the likes, but I prefer the idea of Lent being a time of giving of ourselves in service to others,” he said.

“This runs contrary to a culture that suggests that the only thing that motivates people is money.”

Christians should not follow in the example of the hedonistic lifestyle of celebrities, Hewitt said, nor should money be their main motivation in life.

Rather, they should follow in the example of Jesus, who refused the temptations of wealth and celebrity status.

“No one can fail to see the devastating effect the selfish pursuit of money has had in the financial sector and beyond,” Hewitt said.

“The 40 days of fasting and prayer before Easter represent the time Jesus spent in the desert overcoming the temptations to use power in the pursuit of wealth, fame and popularity.”

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