Lenten Calendar #18

Also helpful: Worship Alternatives: HUNGER


A 40 Day Guide for Lent and Easter


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"I'm just one person. What can I do about the problem of hunger? The food security crisis is so complex, so overwhelming, that I am paralyzed by its immensity. It can't be done," I often think.

But there are many things we can do, and if every person of faith in North America would do some of these things, the world would move a long way toward healing hunger in the world. Try as many things suggested in this calendar as you can, and you will become an important part of the healing process.

1 Ash Wednesday.  Read Matthew 6:1 and Isaiah 1:15-17. Set aside a time each day through Lent to pray for those who are hungry and homeless. Ask God to open your eyes to the needy around you and look for ways to serve them. Find a prayer partner to keep you accountable.

2 Thursday. Read Psalm 41:3. Become informed. Read "Hunger News & Hope" at <SeedsPublishers.org>. Share what you learn with others. Read and share "Ten Tips for a Simpler, More Meaningful Easter" at <SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives >> 10 Tips Easter>

3 Friday.  Read Matthew 6:19-21 and 1 Cor. 10:23-24. Buy a package of granola bars and keep them in your purse or car to give out to people who ask for money for food. Or carry an extra apple or sandwich in your lunch or briefcase. Give to someone who asks for money for food. Those seeking only money may revile you, those truly hungry probably will not.

4 Saturday. Read Galatians 6:7-10. Don't eat out this Lent. Set aside the money you would normally spend and give it to a local homeless shelter. Have a picnic instead or fix something at home and serve it by candlelight. Americans eat almost one meal of three away from home. Think of the food even a small fraction of that expense could buy the needy.

First Sunday in Lent.  Read Matthew 4:1-11.

5 Monday. Read Amos 8:4-7. Eat your evening meal by candlelight and discuss better ways to conserve energy. Give 25 cents to a hunger organization for every electrical appliance in your kitchen/home. Ask how your family might reduce your "watt-gobbling" appliances?

6 Tuesday. Read Exodus 16:1-12. How much do you weigh? Give a "penny per pound" for hunger relief. Give a dollar for each pound above your healthy weight.

7 Wednesday. Read Matthew 6:25-34. Don't eat between meals today. Consider following this health-building practice every day.

8 Thursday. Read Proverbs 14:21. Give more than money. Visit Volunteer Opportunities at <SeedsPublishers.org>. Contact your denominational offices for information about volunteering. Consider giving a few weeks or a year.

9 Friday. Read 1 Corinthians 4:9-13. Look a homeless person in the eye. If s/he asks for money, give at least five minutes of your time talking with them instead.

10 Saturday. Read Jeremiah 22:13-16. Each time your stomach growls or you burp, pray for the one billion people in the world who are chronically malnourished. Consider eating less and more slowly.

Second Sunday in Lent. Read John 3:1-17.

11 Monday. Read Luke 16:19-31. Shower in fewer than three minutes. Pray for those who don't have the luxury of a bath or the dignity that comes with cleanliness. Become more aware of the difficulties of the impending world-wide water shortage.

12 Tuesday. Read Psalm 82:1-4. Reduce or eliminate consumption of "junk food." Eat "fast food" no more than once a week. Give what you thereby save on both to the social justice organization of your choice.

13 Wednesday. Read Luke 14:12-24. Oppose use of grains for brewing beer and whiskey. American breweries and distilleries use about 16,000 tons of grain a day, enough to feed 128 million people for an entire year!

14 Thursday. Read 1 Timothy 1:5. Restrict drinking of wine to Holy Communion and to one glass of organic red wine per day for health. The hobby of wine tasting has caused a major diversion of farm land and water from more needed uses.

15 Friday. Read Proverbs 11:2. Ask yourself, "If Jesus went shopping with me, how would my buying habits be any different?

16 Saturday. Read Romans 12:9-21. Go shopping with someone who uses food stamps, and watch how s/he is treated.

Third Sunday in Lent.  Read John 4:5-42.

17 Monday. Read Isaiah 58:6-12. If you have a garden, plant a row or more for the poor. Give extra produce to a soup kitchen.

18 Tuesday. Read Amos 8:4-7. Have one meal only of brown rice and water. That's all that many people get to eat every day. At least our water is clean. Try eating brown rice and water for all three meals in one day.

19 Wednesday. Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Pray for people who work in relief and development, especially in war-torn places. Read Matthew 19:16-22. Pray for all people who work for the end of hunger in our world.

20 Thursday. Read Luke 10:29-37. If available, use public transportation frequently. Encourage legislation to upgrade public transportation systems.

21 Friday. Read Luke 8:4-8. Walk or bike rather than driving whenever possible. Give 25 cents for every mile you drive these two days.

22 Saturday.  Read Luke 1:46-55. Arrange for your church to serve only beans and rice for a fellowship meal or Lenten supper, and use that event to talk about hunger issues. Discuss what the Bible says about feeding the poor. Pray for hungry people and about our attitudes and our shared responsibilities toward them.

Fourth Sunday in Lent.  Read John 9:1-41.

23 Monday. Read Matthew 25: 36, 43. Give sacrificially of your money, above your church tithe, for relief and development through your denomination or other organizations, like UNICEF <unicef.com>.

24 Tuesday. Read Lamentations 1:11. Explain to someone that the average age of homeless people in the U.S. is seven years.

25 Wednesday. Read Ezekial 18:5-9. Read about how history, art, photography, worship, scripture and theology relate to food and hunger in "Food and Hunger" from "Christian Reflection." Call 866-298-2325 or visit < http://www.baylor.edu/christianethics/> for a free copy.

26 Thursday. Read Luke 10:29-37. Don't recycle aluminum cans. Instead, bag them and leave them by a dumpster for homeless collectors, or save them for community project collections.

27 Friday. Read Isaiah 60:4-5. 35,000 children die every day from malnutrition and preventable disease. Write your Congressional representatives, telling them that international health and hunger issues are important to you. Visit <BREAD.org>.

28 Saturday. Read Luke 19:9-10. Write your Congregational representatives and tell them your concerns about US neglect of the homeless and chronically hungry in our nation. Tell them that you'd like them to take more proactive steps toward hunger relief.

Fifth Sunday in Lent. Read John 11:1-45.

29 Monday. Read Micah 6:8. Investigate the Micah 6 Project at <Micah6.org>.

30 Tuesday.  Read Luke 16:19-31. Look forward to Earth Day on April 22nd. Plan now. Consider planting trees - honor the 4th "R" (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, RESTORE).

31 Wednesday. Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-24. Once a week (or once a month for sure) help distribute meals in a soup kitchen - at a time other than Thanksgiving or Christmas. Eat with and talk to the guests.

32 Thursday. Read Romans 12:9-21. Ask your Sunday School Superintendent to incorporate hunger emphasis into the lesson one week or more.

33  Friday. Read Mark 10:23-27. The wealthiest 20% of the world's population (North America and Europe) consumes 86% of the world's goods and services. The poorest 20% of the population consumes only 1% of the goods and services. Is this just or fair? What can you do about this disparity?

34 Saturday. Read Luke 9:10-17. Plug into the US Committee for World Food Day information network: 202/653-2404; <www.WorldFoodDayUSA.org> or <FeedingMinds.org>.

Sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm/Passion Sunday).  Read Matthew 21:1-11.

35 Monday. Read Isaiah 3:13-15. Estimate how many pounds of meat your family ate last week and give 25 cents per pound for hunger relief. Consider giving to hunger the same amount your family spends on meat year-round.

36 Tuesday. Read Job 5:1-16. For the next four days, focus on how what we buy affects others. Day 1: Learn about Fair Trade at <FairTradeFederation.org> or <SweatShops.org>.

37 Wednesday. Read Matthew 25:34-40. Day 2: Encourage your congregation to use Equal Exchange or another fair trade coffee. Visit <EqualExchange.org>.

38 Maundy Thursday.  Read Deuteronomy. 14:28-15:11. Day 3: Contact Folger's, Maxwell House and Nestle, urging them to give their farmers a decent price for their beans.

39 Good Friday. Read Luke 9:10-17. Day 4: Urge coffee cafes to offer Fair Trade Coffee as a regular menu item.

40  Saturday: Easter Eve. Read Lamentations 3:40. Set aside time today to assess what you've learned about hunger and about yourself. Spend time listening for God's leading. How can you stay in tune with this issue? What can you do over the next few months that will make a difference in the world? Make a promise to yourself that you will begin to live every day in a way that will bring about the healing of hunger in the world.

Easter Sunday Evening. Read Luke 24:13-49.

This 40 day Lenten guide, based on liturgical cycle A: Matthew, is drawn from "Hunger Emphasis" calendars compiled by Elizabeth Walker and Katie Cook of Seeds of Hope, a major contributor to "Worship Alternatives," a issued by Alternatives in 2005. Read excerpts at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives. Seeds of Hope publishes "Hunger News and Hope" newsletter and a quarterly worship resource called "Sacred Seasons." For more information visit <SeedsPublishers.org> or call 254/755-7745.

The readings for Sundays and special days are those designated for Cycle A (Matthew). The readings for the other days are based on "A Hunger Lectionary" inspired by Jim Wallis of Sojourners Community and Magazine, Washington, DC. <Sojo.net>

Many Lent and Easter resources are available in Alternatives' collection "Who's Risen from the Dead, Anyway?" on the CD-ROM "Simply the Best: Over 30 Years of Alternatives." Read it at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.

Simple Living Works! continues Alternatives' mission of "equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly." For resources for Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, weddings and other celebrations - some in Spanish -  contact SimpleLivingWorks.org> or Alternatives@SimpleLiving.org.

©Creative Commons (originally 2005 by Alternatives for Simple Living)
Printed on recycled paper.

Page updated 3 Jan. 2014

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