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Friday, February 27, 2009

Isaiah on Fasting and Unplugged for Lent 2009

“So why do you fast? Many of you don’t seem to get it, do you? All the while you fast you go to work and carry on your own selfish pursuits. You are unkind to your coworkers, unkind to your boss and trample over others to get what you want. When the day is done, you have quarreled in your heart and fought with your words to assert your own self-seeking interests. But really, do you think your fast will be heard in heaven while you are living such an unmerciful life?

“How would you like to participate in a 2009 Lent fast that will really get you heard in heaven? Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to look ridiculous and do such things as bow your head all day, sleep on burlap and dump ashes on your head! So what does a real fast look like? I’ll tell you …

“When you wake up each day, seek out those who are struggling – who are weighted down by troubles. Seek out those who are confused, underperforming and seem to be bound up in chains. Who are those people in your life? Are they coworkers, a spouse, a son, daughter or a homeless person begging in front of Albertsons? Now go and set them free with your compassion, mercy, love and understanding. Set them free! Invite them to share with you at your dinner table and make yourself their food. Clothe the naked, give alms to the homeless and for heaven’s sake do not turn your back on the losers in your very own family. Do not condemn them, but relentlessly reach out to them. Do not forsake your own.

“If you will do this, guess what? You will have interior peace that will feel like supernatural liquid Valium running through your veins. God will protect you and be your guard. You will have Him on your side in all that you do. Then, when you fast, you can rightfully pray and the Lord will answer you. You will cry for help and the Lord will shout to you, ‘Here I am!’” Isaiah 58:1-9 Unplugged
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