Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ~Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
Today begins the season of Lent. Many churches observe this time of preparation that leads up to Easter. Some people even choose to use the season as a time for penitence and self-examination, study, and spiritual discipline. Perhaps the discipline most commonly associated with Lent is fasting, which can take many forms, such as giving up entire meals, or certain foods (like meat), or radically changing a diet, in order to be made mindful of one’s humanity and of God’s providence.
Isaiah 56 tells us “Isn’t this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke? Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family? … If you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness, and your gloom will be like the noon.” (Isa. 56:6,7,10)
So I ask you, do you hunger and thirst for justice? True fasting is not just depriving ourselves of privilege but also sharing sacrificially to bring an end to the cycles of inequality, an end to violence and solution to starvation.
Heavenly Father, create in me a hunger and thirst for Your righteousness. Enable me this day to be Your hands and feet to those who live in darkness. Help me love with Your heart and shine with Your light so that the darkness may be like the noon day sun. Amen.