For many people, Lent is a time of fasting in which we are encouraged to focus on eating and drinking. More specifically, we are asked to examine our relationship with water and food. What do we put our trust in and spend our time doing?
Fasting can be a spiritual practice that helps us to become vulnerable. We abstain from something—indulgent food or some other comfort—that hinders our reliance on God. But the psalmist presents us with a new type of fast that is derived from God’s ubiquitous love for all humankind and is exemplified by the Christian values of equality and equity. God makes clear that material things are not so much the focus of fasting but the innate, internal manifestations of “isms” that block God out of our lives and prevent us from living justly.
The fast articulated by God in this passage produces intimacy. God is particularly interested in becoming our sanctuary, sustenance, and security. This is a type of fasting I never contemplated, one that puts us unreservedly in God’s presence.
What about our relationships with those perceived as “other”? What might happen if we cease practicing racism, classism, sexism, and exclusionism? What if we refrain from pointing fingers, blaming, and pursing our self-centered wills and instead pursue the will of God? Perhaps that is what repentance is all about. Turning our will and eyes from judgment of one another to love and acceptance. This is exactly what Lent is all about.
Eternal God, make us vulnerable and willing to begin again to love and forgive unconditionally. Amen.
In the midst of Lent, when many might be giving up a certain food that they love, we read about feasting. The focus is not on physical feasting, but on feasting as a metaphor for communing with God. Isaiah describes food and drink that one cannot buy with money, for it comes freely from the Lord. The psalmist describes the state of his soul as being hungry and thirsty. Only meditating on God’s faithfulness nourishes his soul at the deepest level. Physical food is momentary, but spiritual nourishment endures. In First Corinthians, Paul appeals to this imagery. Although the ancients experience this spiritual nourishment, some pursue physical pleasure and stray into idolatry and immorality. Partaking in this nourishment should cause us in turn to produce spiritual fruit, as Jesus admonishes his listeners.
Read Isaiah 55:1-9. When has God’s grace inverted your expectations?
Read Psalm 63:1-8. As you mature in faith, what new questions about God do you ask?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Think of a time you have faced great temptation. How did God help you endure it?
Read Luke 13:1-9. For what do you need to repent?
Responda publicando una oración.