Friday, March 7, 2014
Friday after Ash Wednesday
“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish. … Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed.” (Isaiah 58:6-8)
“So, what are you giving up for Lent?” It’s a common conversation starter this time of year. I’ve given up the obvious things in the past: chocolate, sugar, caffeine. I miss these things during the weeks of Lent, but in the end I don’t know that I felt closer to God by doing so.
As I read today’s verse and the verses before it I’m reminded that the act of fasting or “giving something up” in and of itself really isn’t enough. The Lord asks us to consider the “manner of fasting” and do something that stretches us, increases our faith and brings us closer to Him. He asks us not to just fast, but to reach out to His people and help those who need it. He asks us and expects us to share our faith and be His hands and feet here on Earth.
help us to use this season of Lent to be Your hands and feet in our communities.
Help us to see those who need our help
and give us the courage and strength to reach out to them. Amen.
Regional EMR Analyst, Admissions, Avera
ISAIAH 58:1-9A • PSALM 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 18-19 • MATTHEW 9:14-15