What is Giving Alms?
If you are protestant (like us), giving alms sounds like something strange and old fashioned. It’s actually just another way of saying that you are helping someone. Giving alms is technically the act of giving to or helping the poor or needy. If you take it back to the olde english it originated from, it meant giving or showing mercy.Giving alms for Lent is technically the act of giving to or helping the poor or needy. Click To Tweet
Why Should You Make Giving Alms Part of Your Lent or Easter Celebration?
The 3 goals of Lent are prayer, fasting, and giving alms. Whether you are practicing Lent as a Catholic or protestant, the Bible speaks clearly about doing good to others.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27 ESV
Unlike many other religions, Christians are not saved by our acts of kindness. We should however, be so in love with Jesus that we want to help others to show them His love and kindness. Our faith will move us to act.
Christians are not saved by our acts of kindness, but true faith will move us to act. Click To Tweet
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17 ESV
Since Easter is the most important Christian holiday, it makes sense that we spend it trying to be more like Jesus. Aside from loving God, loving others is the greatest commandment.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 ESV
What are Some Easy Ways for Your Family to Give Alms?
There are lots of easy and meaningful service projects you can do with your children. Here are a few that we like…
- Clean out your house and take items to a charity.
- Collect change in a jar during Lent. Pick a charity to give it to at the end of the season.
- Make Blessing Bags for the Homeless.
- Choose a family to bless by making them a meal. Your children can also make them a card or draw a picture.
- Cheer someone up with flowers
- Give of your time and spend the day with someone who may crave your company–a grandparent, lonely neighbor, or someone at a nursing home.
Giving alms is really a natural part of our lives if we are following Jesus. Take a little time to be more intentional about it this season. You will not only be helping others, but planting seeds in your children and creating world-changers.
How will you give alms this season?
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