06 February 2008

Ash Wednesday

Today is the first day of Lent, forty days that have traditionally been set aside by Christians for fasting, self-examination and prayer. In the popular imagination, Lent has long been reduced to that time of year when we temporarily give up chocolate, alcohol, tobacco or some other little luxury. Contrast that with the far more radical understanding of fasting offered by Isaiah in the Old Testament reading for this morning’s Eucharist:
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (Isaiah 58.6–7)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mmmm. So what do you make of Mtt 4, 1-11; Lk4, 1-14?

Everyone always goes "yeah, it's so much more meaningful to do something than to stop doing something"!

D'you not think it would be more radical to eat nothing but bread and veg (bread by itself, bit too radical for me anyway, even if wholemeal doesn't have the problematic effects that all-white-bread fasts can have) for forty days, and to point out that Jesus did good all the time, but sometimes He feasted and sometimes He fasted?

Random rant from random passer-by :-)