Scripture of the Day
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house? When you see the naked, to cover them and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (
I love a good fast — a religious excuse to diet and lose some weight. But Isaiah does not want me to sacrifice my own sanity for the sake of my waistline. And God does not demand of us a detached and disconnected piety. It’s not enough that I pray quietly five times a day, or fill up a journal with my reflections. It’s not enough to gussy up the sanctuary and put on a good show. At least, not for me. Not anymore. The stakes are too high. They’ve always been too high. I just manage to find more and creative reasons to avoid getting off my duff. Or, I donate money to Special Olympics and Doctors Without Borders and call that good enough. Isaiah exhorts me to act, to put some skin in the game. The fact that he puts it in the form of a question betrays his disdain and his impatience. The poor are starving and the homeless need a place to stay tonight. They are my kin and I have the resources to help. I’m late. But it is not too late to get started.
Jesus, call me out. Do not be fooled by my excuses. Do not lower your expectations of me just because I am hesitant to begin. But, like, could you teach me how this is to be done? And free me from this paralysis? Amen.