My son’s school engages in an annual practice.
They celebrate 14th February every year as “Friendship Day” and they take gifts to the orphanage. The first time this happened I was so touched.
What a way for the children to celebrate “Valentines Day”, I thought. Valentines Day seems to have taken on a meaning that includes only romantic love. And as the Revolutionary Righter wrote last week, this should not be so. 
It is good that children grow up learning the value of giving. And that it is good to give especially to people who do not have. Giving is such an integral part of life and of relationships. It is not possible to be in any kind of relationship without giving. In relationships, we give of our time, we give our  resources, we give material things, we give support and encouragement. The list of things we give is endless. 

This year as we got our gifts ready to take to school for onward delivery to the orphanage, knowing that Valentines Day was also Ash Wednesday, I was reminded of the truth that our ABBA is the Master giver. We as humans take some (never all) of what we have and in this instance, we took used children’s clothes, shoes and toys and food stuff as well and gave. But God, our Heavenly Father, gave us everything that He had. He gave His all. He gave His Only Son, Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV God did not spare Jesus. “Since he did not spare even his own son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Romans 8 :32 NLT

On Wednesday, February 14th, 2024 which was Ash Wednesday, Christians all over the world marked the beginning of Lent which is a forty day (6 week) period of fasting food and drinks (within a specific time of the day) and other specific pleasurable activities and rather spend time focusing on the greatest gift of God to mankind, Jesus, and His sacrifice for us all. We do this by praying and spending time studying the word of God and giving. It is good to reflect on the truth that God gave His all and still keeps giving to us, even now.
Whoever calls on the name of Jesus today, will receive the gift of salvation “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’ Romans 10:13 NLT  Our salvation today cost God everything but He gave it to us for free. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”  Ephesians 2:8 NLT He has given us the gift of salvation.

Also when Jesus our Saviour hung on the cross there took place a divine exchange. He took all our sins upon Him and we became the righteousness of God through Him. We were given a gift of righteousness. Any thing that we might lay claim to from our own effort is nothing but filthy rags before God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

As we continue in the Lenten season, let us do well to give to others who we perceive are in need of our assistance and especially those who will not ask. In our quiet moments of reflection let us remember that the One who created us in His image is the greatest giver. Therefore giving should be a part of our living on this side of eternity. Do not hold back your hand even at this time. NOW IS THE TIME TO GIVE!