Wednesday, 22 February 2012
22nd February 2012 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-20 Ash Wednesday
Giving to the Needy
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal
What a lot of instructions we read today; give to the needy, pray, fast and store up your treasures in heaven. There's a real focus on the poor today, on the giving to the poor on the righteousness of the poor. It's rather apt for the beginning of lent isn't it and it relates well to one thing I'm doing this lent.
I'm joining Christian Aid's Count your Blessings for lent. By reflecting on our own blessings we can realise what we can give to others to help the poorest.
Jesus today we wander into the wilderness with you for 40 days in the sure knowledge that we are cared for, loved and forgiven. When we stumble please help us up, when we panic please calm us, when we cry please comfort us. Amen