The Fast that I Choose

Daily reading: Isaiah 58:1-12
Wednesday February 10, 2016

Focus passage: Isn’t this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke?  Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family? Isaiah 58:6-7

Tonight perhaps marks the starkest contrast in the change of liturgical seasons in our church life.  Most seasons begin with a new emphasis that is somewhat celebratory, like the beginning of Advent, which is full of expectation, or it may be a holiday that marks the beginning like Christmas or Easter.  But tonight, under the cover of dark, we gather to enter into the season of Lent, which ultimately asks us to look at how we live our lives and if our choices are in line with God’s desire for creation.
Isaiah asks what kind of fast does God choose? 
The fast clearly is not a request for simply an act of piety but is a call to both personal and communal repentance.  What God has in mind is a restructure of relationships both for the haves and the have not’s:  For the oppressors and the oppressed, for the hungry and for those with bread to share, for the homeless and for those with homes, for the naked and for those who have clothes to share.
The fast is twofold as well, because it begins by confronting first the spiritual brokenness in our own lives and then confronting the spiritual brokenness in our world.
Ultimately the point of fasting, is to take time to intentionally refocus on God’s presence in our lives, to acknowledge that we have not always chosen to follow God, that we have allowed our desires and our wants to supersede God’s calling in our lives.

Prayer:  Gracious God help me to experience the presence of Christ in this moment and in every moment today.  Open my eyes and my ears to what is happening around me.  Amen.


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