Here is another helpful passage to reflect upon during Lent - and again I would like to suggest that you use the method of Lectio Divina. If you don't know what Lectio Divina is and would like a simple set of instructions, then try this. Otherwise, please read on...
Some people give up something for Lent. A smaller number actually fast (taking water only) for a significant period - for instance, one day each week. Fasting, when done sensibly and for the correct reasons, is a spiritual discipline that has been used for centuries. But, when done for the wrong reasons, it has little going for it. Here is Isaiah - telling the Israelites of approximately 700 BC what, in God's eyes, is the type of fasting that God would prefer to see - in comparison with their existing rituals.
Isaiah 58: 6-8
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly
If you would like to 'stand up and be counted' during Lent there are many ways you can do this.
(My apologies that the following links are only UK links - perhaps you might add your local ones in the comments)
- Try asking the manager of your local supermarket if he/she can stock more Fairtrade goods (perhaps check out what they do supply first!)
- Write a letter or send an email expressing your views about world trade justice - particularly in relation to tax avoidance by multi-national companies
- Write to your local MP and other party candidates asking for details of their views on development goals
- Set up a regular payment to your favourite development charity
- Follow the Christian Aid weekly reflections through Lent to provide thoughts to take into your personal prayer times
Click here for Lenten Lectio 1