This week begins the season of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter where we, as Christ followers, fast/sacrifice in some way to experience wilderness as Christ experienced wilderness. Most years, I consider something to sacrifice for the 40 days (food, coffee, tv, etc.) and spend more intentional time with Jesus in prayer. This year, however, as I meditate on Isaiah 58, I’m thinking upon how I can give my life as a sacrifice. In Isaiah 58, God calls us out and expresses a true fast:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
What if we engaged in a season of Lent by offering ours lives as a sacrifice instead of considering what we might sacrifice? What if we were to engage in tangibly serving widows, orphans, the poor, and foreigners? God promises that as we offer our lives as a living sacrifice, we will be awakened to the life and light of God. We will call upon His name and He will answer us! Light will shine in darkness!
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
In His Grace,