Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Isaiah 58:3-9 speaks of God’s kind of fasting. Fasting is one of the most readily neglected disciplines in Christianity today. We normally think of it as a self-denial, especially of food. In Isaiah 58 God’s people are disappointed that God doesn’t seem to honor their fasting. However, they are using their fasting to show their pride, arrogance, and ability to use and even oppress other people. This is not the purpose of fasting.
Rather than making a show and using it for your own glory, God says to have a fast from doing bad. Fast by bringing strength to the weak. Fast by feeding the hungry. Fast by clothing the poor. Fast by doing good in the world around you.
Loving and serving our neighbor is at the heart of Christian devotion. Yes, we want to be sure that Christ is the center of our devotion, that his mercy and forgiveness are the motivation for our good works. But let us never forget the good works. It is as we are busy loving and serving our neighbor due to Christ’s love that we can show his kindness and compassion to our neighbor. May the Lord forgive us our arrogance, and make us people who show his forgiveness to our world.
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