A Different Kind of Fast
by Mindy Linkous
Hunger, oppression, bondage, homelessness, violence, hatred, division, and abuse are raging in this beautiful world. The challenge is insurmountable the needs are great, but God can do the impossible and calls us out to have faith to do the impossible. We fast and pray for Christ to strengthen us to reach these needs. We have ‘a big ask’ but we have no reason to be shy about it, we are God’s children. The door is always open. Go on in. In Isaiah 58 God reveals his heart by steering the direction of the way the people were fasting. Instead of getting all grumpy and hangry, arguing and putting in your time paying dues as it seems, how about pay attention to the needs of others, don’t just skip a meal and bow your head like a reed, give someone hungry your meal and let the joy of sharing fill you up for a change. He chooses a fast that is bold saying, “This the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Isn’t it to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” Jesus invites us to come boldly before Him. So he can fill us with life and take that life to the world. As we are filled with his life we shine his light in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. He says don’t turn away, put down the pointing finger and help those in trouble. He fills us with Life and asks us to pour ourselves out for the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, and share our food with the hungry. He tells us to break chains of wickedness, untie the ropes of the yoke and tear them off, to stop vicious rumors, and to set the oppressed free. Now that is a powerful fast! Rise up in your unique gifting, we all are different but empowered by same Spirit. We proclaim Jesus is Lord! And the hope of all is Christ in you. We invite you to take communion after you pray and fast in remembrance that Jesus poured out His life to save us and He alone is our strength. He is the bread of life and the living water.