What good does fasting do?

This is the sort of fast that pleases me…to break unjust fetters…to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor; thus says the Lord. ISAIAH 58:1-9

Now there’s a thought for fasting. When we who have so much (and if you have a computer and if you are reading this, you have “much”) share so little, give up, perhaps, only luxuries for Lent, how are we following what’s asked of us?

How many of us roll down our window at a corner when stopped, in our safe vehicle, and offer whatever we have: a couple of coins fished from the save-tray, a dollar we quickly grab from a pocket, or even a smile and a sorry-I-don’t-have-anything-today remark? How many of us turn away from the needy and say to ourselves, “Well, they’ll only spend it on alcohol…” or “They could work at McDonald’s if they had to….”?

For that matter, how many of us are willing to offer consolation (not “you should”) to a friend who’s scared or needy or in trouble, but rather an “I’m so sorry”?

No matter our politics or our religion or our financial status, we need to be conscious of the messages we’re hearing today whether from religious or political leaders. What does “income inequality” really mean? What does a focus on “social justice” mean?

It means simple “to break unjust fetters…to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor.”

And the question for all of us is how do we do that in a world in chaos, in a world where so many need so much?

Perhaps the answer lies in the next corner where you stop.

One thought on “What good does fasting do?

  1. susansayings says:

    Ah, yes–if we give up complaining, we can use that energy to make it better. Like Jude–“take a sad song and make it better.”
    Someone I know put the people she’s struggling with on the prayer list at church–enlisting others to pray for people she might struggle to pray for. Brilliant! Knowing we’re not alone in our commitment to turning toward the light, really makes a difference.
    Thank you for giving me a forum for sharing my Lenten challenges and revelations, so this is not just a private commitment.

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