"A little while ago my daughter cut off her hair. She's 8 and her hair was thick, long and beautiful. "
Hence begins 'the first act', a blog by Michael O'Neill posted today on the 40days.org.uk website. His blog is a rousing challenge to engage with Lent as a build up to the greatest act of generosity ever shown - the cross.
Generosity is a virtue that threads throughout Jesus' ministry - he is generous with the message and power God gives Him, he is generous in sacrificing his time and energy for the blessing of others, he receives the generosity of his followers in providing for his physical needs, he doesn't do things by halves.
On the cross, Jesus sacrificed everything - intimacy with God, presence on the earth, the comfort of his friends and family, safety, lack of physical pain... and gave everything in order that we can be GIVEN eternal life, freedom from sin and brokenness, and an opportunity to, through God's power, share this with others. WHAT generosity. What outrageous generosity.
Is generosity a value we seek to cultivate? Not just the act of giving but the heart's desire to be a generous people, who give as a culture. Loving our unis not through obligation or one-off bouts of fervour but through a generous, self-sacrificial heart, generous in all it does.
Check out 40days.org.uk and consider whether the following 40 days could be a chance for you to develop a culture of generosity in the lead-up to the greatest act of generosity ever seen.
"Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage - to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous."
1 Timothy 6:18, The Message