The beginning of Lent.
We don’t really “do” Lent.
I mean, we’re not of the religious tradition that observes Lent.
We’re all about the celebration of Resurrection Sunday,
but not so great at what it means to have to die first.
Dying to self and sin.
Learning to be a real Kingdom person.
A member of the upside down, inside out Kingdom
where you die to live
and you lose to gain.
I’ve been saying we,
but I really mean me.
I’m not so good at it.
Isaiah blows the whistle on people like me in the 58th chapter.
“You are living for yourselves even while you are fasting.”
And then he tells us what the fast that pleases God looks like.
“Free the oppressed.
Treat people fairly.
Share what you have with the hungry.
Don’t hide from relatives who need your help.
Stop spreading accusations and rumors.
Honor the Sabbath and delight in the Lord’s Day.
Honor the Lord in everything you do.
Don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.”
And he fills the chapter with promises for those who fast in this way,
a fast from selfish, self-centered living.
My favorite is at the end of the chapter,
“then the Lord will be your Delight”.
“Delight” is my word for 2012.
I want to live with the Lord as my Delight.
Isaiah is showing me how.
He’s showing me that there are some things I need to fast.
Things that are harder to fast than food.