to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
…Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.”
Read Isaiah 58:1-12
As we begin to shift seasons from the short, dark days of winter to the longer, brighter, warmer days of spring, the church enters the time of Lent. This penitential season shifts us back into darkness as God calls us to look deeply at our own lives when we walk with Jesus on his journey to the cross.
Isaiah 58 gives us direction for our journey. In this penitential time God requires of us not a fast for mere show – such as “giving up” chocolates, or cigarettes, or something else that is actually good for our health anyway – but a fast consisting of justice, freedom and sharing. Isaiah calls us to a deep sense of examination of our hearts and actions. Yet God promises to be with us on this journey. When we “cry for help” God will answer. “The Lord will guide [us] continually, and satisfy [our] needs in parched places…” (Is. 58:11)
So, what will be your fast for Lent? Will you give a meal-a-week to the food bank? Will you take a Lenten folder to save money for a worthy cause? Will you share your time with one of our shut-ins? Will you volunteer for some outreach through your church? Will you take on a new spiritual discipline such as praying daily for St. Luke’s, or listening to a Bible verse on your way to work, or participating in Lenten Awakenings this year? What will be the fast that you choose?
I encourage you to do something new and different during Lent this year – and to let your family, friends and neighbors know what you are doing and why. This way we can invite others to walk this journey with us.
God’s blessings of courage on your Lenten journey, Pastor Ann