No, I wasn’t in a fighting ring, I was in prayer at our Solemn Assembly and Day of Public Repentance.
Several ideas in the Isaiah 58 reading JUMPED out and gave me the eight count.
Isaiah asks “What is fasting that pleases the Lord?”
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry… Isaiah 58:7
I regularly “share my bread with the hungry” but Isaiah’s next idea I have never done.
…and bring the homeless poor into your house. Isaiah 58:7
REALLY? My fasting is not pleasing to the Lord without bringing the homeless poor into my house? We bring the homeless poor into our “church house” almost daily. Doesn’t that count?
It seems that Isaiah emphasizes the harmony in God. With the Greatest Commandment being to love God and one’s neighbor, fasting would simply be an exercise in hungry self-discipline without embracing a deeper intimacy with God and neighbor.
The “I gave at the office” trend, although helpful, reduces the person to person relationships that happen when we bring the homeless poor into our houses.
The goal of almsgiving is the personal living out of righteousness and is to be done in secret.
The goal of acts of kindness is a growing personal relationship between the two parties and can not, by definition, be secret.
Surviving the eight count, I am getting back on my feet and I’m looking for the homeless poor relationships God would have me develop.