Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58:6-7
The Bible tells us of the new kind of fasting. At first, we would have been taught that fasting is self-denial of food for the sake of prayer and pursuing other spiritual concerns. The prophet Isaiah brings in a new concept to fasting. It is not simply about food but also oppression, injustice, homelessness and hunger.
Fasting helps enhance our relationship with Christ because we make a sacrifice and we distance ourselves from the basics that sustain our lives. God requires us to go a step ahead and break the chains of oppression as we seek for a better relationship with him. We also need to remove the yoke of injustice and allow the oppressed to be free. Our struggle as God’s children is to ensure that we promote the welfare of others by advocating for justice and human freedom. We are required to stand for the oppressed because God delivered us from the oppression of this world, we are now free individuals.
God’s ultimate plan for humanity is a world where justice rolls down like water. Advocating for justice becomes our new way to fast, we fast by standing along those people who are the margins of our society. It is a prayer by itself and God will surely stand with you when you call unto him.
Our society faces challenges of homelessness and hunger and we are again reminded that indeed our prayer should be complimented by our actions of sharing our food with the hungry and opening our homes to the homeless poor. It’s hard just as we find it difficult to deny food to ourselves, but that is the new way to fast, that’s how God wants us to pray and show our love for humanity. Can you reflect on how you have handled the poor, the marginalized, the homeless and read the scripture to understand what God requires of you.
It is difficult for us to separate ourselves from things that sustain us and our comfort, but the Christian life is a life beyond comfort, let us stand with the needy and God will remember our good work and meet us at our point of need.
May the Almighty be with you as you stand for justice and open your house to the homeless and feed the hungry.