“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord” Proverbs 19:17
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” 1 John 3:18
Lent is a beautiful time of preparation. It is a time when we ready our hearts for the amazing work of God’s redemption on Easter Sunday. Throughout Lent, we mark our time with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. While there is a great focus on prayer and fasting in Lent, we don’t hear much about almsgiving. Lenten almsgiving is collecting and distributing money for those in need. When Jesus gives the story of the Good Samaritan, the Good Samaritan does not just pray for the wounded man, he takes care of all of his needs.
Traditionally, during the season of Lent, to collect alms, alms boxes are placed on a table right when you walk into church and in a prominent place in your home. As we give up things for Lent, we take the money we would have spent on those things and place the money in our alms box. It is exciting to watch the box fill up as Lent progresses! And there is so much joy at the end to see how much money you have raised and to decide on the way that you will give it away.
This year, my family will be giving their alms to the Anglican Relief and Development Funds' Love the World Campaign. ARDF partners with local Anglican churches and communities around the world to identify, develop, and implement initiatives that address critical needs such as poverty, disease, and disaster recovery. Through a rigorous process that ensures projects are both sustainable and community-driven, ARDF focuses on empowering people with practical help and hope, giving both physical aid and the Good News of Jesus Christ. By supporting ARDF, donors contribute to a global vision of manifesting Christ's love through tangible acts of compassion, making a lasting impact on the lives of the needy and fostering the growth of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Your support through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving becomes a direct line to helping families and communities globally, embodying the Gospel's call to feed the body, soul, and spirit. In this way, your Lenten journey can extend far beyond your own home, touching lives around the world with the love and hope of Christ.
Alms Jar for Lent
If you’d like to collect alms during Lent, I created this easy and inexpensive alms jar. I wanted the jars to have the Lenten color of purple and to look like stained glass windows with translucent cells so that you can see the money as it multiplies.
This is a super kid-friendly project! Let your kids have fun making it. I'm giving a sample design but let your kids come up with whatever designs they would like. The craft was created to embrace imperfections and little hands!
Glass Jars (I used old peanut butter and pickle jars)
Black Puffy Paint
Purple Acrylic or Washable Paint
White Acrylic or Washable Paint
Remove the labels on the jar. Place your jars on their sides in a large pot. Cover with water and add 1/4 cup of dishwashing soap and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Bring to a boil. Turn heat off and allow to cool. Once cool, dip a scouring brush into the liquid in the pot and scrub the sides of the jar until clean. If residue won't come off, sprinkle baking soda on the sides and scrub. Rinse jars thoroughly and let dry.
Once dry, hold your jar at an angle and add a wavy design with black puffy paint. You're trying to create individual cells that you can fill with purple paint later. Once done with your design, allow the puffy paint to thoroughly dry.
Once the puffy paint is dry, take your purple paint and add it to 1/3 of the cells. Then take your purple paint, add a little bit of white paint, blend and paint another 1/3 of the cells. Leave the last 1/3 of the cells clear.
Once dry, place the jars in a prominent place in your home (kitchen or dining table, kitchen counter) where you will be reminded to add your alms.
Have a blessed Lent! +