Friday, March 03, 2006

First Friday Of Lent

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish...Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them...Isaiah 58:6-7

Isaiah was given knowledge of what we must do to gain Eternal happiness. In the Old Testament we were given a template to follow, it is to prepare us for the coming of our Lord.
We have been given an example of the many acts of kindness we are to abide by, in order to break the yoke that chokes off the life of those who are oppressed. Let us put ourselves for a moment in the other person's shoes. A difficult task, I'm sure for many of us, because we do not want to envision their plight, so we close our eyes. Anyway, imagine you are there, in their place, unable to purchase food, or clothing. Imagine having to go without needed medicine, or care. Yet we are the many who actually do the oppressing, we put the yokes on these people to do our bidding so we won't have to dirty our hands.
What Isaiah has been telling us and what has been handed down from many generations is how to free ourselves from our unkindness. A fasting that involves giving to others than giving constantly to self. Many of us who attempt this fasting do so with the bare minimum of not giving all that much. So the sacrifice is meaningless, the yoke has not been broken, and true honest kindness is lost.
If you have, lets say 100 items of clothing, can you give away 50 pieces, or even 25 of them to clothe a few people. If you have 30 pairs of shoes can you give away 15 of them. You have a huge house with just you and your spouse, yet you have four more bedrooms, can you loan those rooms to shelter another to get them back on their feet, or are your possessions more important than they. Can you share a few meals to sustain them also. Everything we do for another we do to our Father who sees all we do, and knows all we do.
Jesus is about to sacrifice his life for us, why are we not able to sacrifice for him.

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