26 February 2006

Thirst for Life

On a somewhat lighter note, the organisation Thirst For Life is asking people give up drinking alcohol for Lent.

I was teasing a friend about signing up a few weeks ago, since my friend is teetotal. I'm not a teetotal Methodist, but I drink so little alcohol (probably less than 20 units / year), that I might as well be. But, as I thought about it, I realised that binge drinking is a huge issue in our society and that giving up alcohol might very well be a witness to some people.

I used to work in the City of London, and drinking after work was a way of life for many people there. Yet, several of my colleagues 'gave up alcohol for Lent' although they were not Christians. Christians might think it odd that non-Christians know about Lent, but I say let's use all the witnessing tools at our disposal. I think that witnessing by our actions is far more effective than anything we can say. I believe in St. Francis' old chestnut: 'Preach the Gospel as often as possible. If necessary, use words.'

The knowledge that they can get through 40 days without alcohol may well be Good News for someone you know.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pam,
just to let you know that my household are also giving up alchohol for Lent as a part of the Thirst for Life campaign. We enjoy a glass or two of red wine so it will be a significant change! I think the issue of binge drinking is an important one to consider especially as I have two teenagers who are affected by the pressure and behaviour of friends...so good for you for taking a stand!
See you Wednesday

Anonymous said...

GREAT to find your blog :)

Conrad said...

As another non-teetotaling Methodist I generally give up alcohol for Lent. A few years I have given up other things.

Having grown up Lutheran MS, alcohol has not been a faith issue with the exception of drinking to excess. I can remember a keg of beer in the church fellowhip hall.

PamBG said...

The Methodist Church in the UK never saw it as a faith issue. Rather, it was a social issue in the 19th century when many people drank away their pay and even abandoned children with two (alcoholic) parents in orphanages.

Binge drinking in the UK amongst young people is a big issue and binge drinking amongst yound women has increased dramatically in the last ten years. So I think this campaign has merit.