"This is the 'fast' that I want from you: break the shackles of injustice; remove the chains of slavery; stop oppression; release the prisoners." Isaiah 58:6
The warm February weather has confused my garden - the chives, the peonies, the tulips, the daffodils - all have come up; I even found some secret crocuses blooming this rainy morning. Lent is such a time as well: sorrow and celebration; guilt and renewal; death and life; hopelessness and hope. As children, we were taught that we must surrender something...
We once had a Pastor that told us to take up something instead of putting down something - people looked at her like she was crazy. But she was right, do we really surrender anything important (to us, to humanity, to God)? Do we really do anything important, anything transforming and different, anything holy? Or is it all just a big show of public piety, self-righteousness, religiosity?
Are we surrendering ourselves, or just what we have to spare from our abundance? What does a voluntary fast or deprivation mean or do when so many starve and suffer involuntarily? Are we not called to surrender our lives so that we may live new lives? So that others may have better lives?
What does the Spirit of the Word of God say to me, say to my church, say to the Church, say to the nation?
(Text from Isaiah 58:1-12, the Message; photography by tiwago)