In our reading from Matthew 6 today Jesus talks about giving, praying and fasting. I don’t know if you noticed that in each of these passages Jesus says “When you give” “When you pray” and “When you fast.”
Jesus doesn’t say “if you give/pray/fast” – Jesus just assumes that all of us will give, pray and fast. All three are basic disciplines for a Christian. That means they need us to be disciplined in order to do them.
One question that is sometimes asked is how often should I give, pray or fast? Many years ago I heard a sermon preached about this passage and the preacher said this:
“When” means I can remember the last time and I’m planning the next time.
This Lent can you remember the last time you gave to the needy and are you planning the next time?
This lent can you remember the last time you prayed and are you planning the next time?
This Lent can you remember the last time you fasted and can you remember the next time?