The tradition for many has been that you give up some kind of pleasure, typically a favorite food, sweets, chocolate, breads, even meat, as a habit of personal repentance. Such disciplines are fine and even a blessing, but the hope is that Lent will become much more for our families and congregation. The hope is that Lent will become a time of genuine change of heart toward yourselves, your families, your neighbors, and the whole world you live in. The hope is that Lent will deeply change you and help you see the face of Jesus in every human being, especially the ones most challenging to love. Rather than taking something away, you are invited to add habits that breathe life.
Jesus described the kingdom of God very well in the gospel of Matthew, especially in the Beatitudes (Chapter 5), and in these words from Matthew 25:
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me...Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.
Jesus was firmly rooted in the prophets, who, like Micah, said,
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
With these words from scripture in mind you are therefore invited to find another path through Lent. Be a blessing and see where God takes you. Indeed the kingdom of God is near. It is all around us.