Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Reflection on Isaiah 58, by Cate

Cate had to pick a chapter out of Isaiah to write a brief reflection for her Bible class.  I suggested Isaiah 58 since it's been a big deal for me since FFE started.  We had a nice little conversation to help her connect the dots on how helping someone else is "true fasting."  

She said, "But I thought fasting was giving up something." 

I said, "It is.  When we give up power and control, or our food, our money or our time, to help someone else, that's fasting."  I don't think it's necessarily an easy or natural connection to link our modern day notions of fasting to acts of service or to Christian social justice.  But it's right there in Isaiah 58.

Here's what she wrote for her reflection:

The big idea of Isaiah 58 is that true fasting is what the Lord desires of us.  Fasting is not acting like we are fasting, but then doing what we want anyway.  True fasting is loosing the chains of injustice, setting the oppressed free, feeding the hungry, and satisfying other people’s needs.  That is how our light shines in the darkness. 
I will respond to this by helping other people and God will recognize it as true fasting.  If someone is really down about something, I could "fast" by helping them with what they need rather than letting them deal with it on their own.  If people are struggling, I can help them instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
Exactly, my girl. 

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