[Lent = Tithe?]
A friend of mine, Jess, who is a missionary here in Ukraine, has shared a little note about an original way of looking at Lent. Since it was a very interesting thought, I decided to share it here:
In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days.
After being baptized by John in the River Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question of what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another, what it means to be themselves… to answer questions like this is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”
Considering the time our Church board had spent last weekend talking and debating about tithes, as well as researching the issue, the idea of Lent being my tithe to God as well never occurred to me. But it does make sense – especially when you take into account Jewish calendar where a year could range from 353 days up till 385 days (Judaism 101)
I have already shared that this Lent has been a time of spiritual growth for me (wow that sounds really cliché). It… has been (and hopefully this will continue) a time when I really took time to ponder on issues that I struggle with and talk them over with God. I am still learning to listen more than to talk, but it’s a process.
Lent as a tithe…
What do YOU think about this concept? Feel free to share.