In this lenten season I find myself introspective. I live and work in a valley of dry bones. Meek, poor in spirit, yoke, poverty, uprootedness - these are some words I am contemplating lately.
Isaiah 58:6-12 comes back to me again and again. What will I call a fast, "a day acceptable to the Lord v5"?
What good does it really do to give up something for lent and not enter into the suffering of Christ? I struggle to live in the finished work of Jesus moment by moment. I am strong willed and stubborn and want to offer something to the Lord. In Luke 21 Jesus watches the widow put her 2 small copper coins in the offering box at the temple. Jesus speaks out after this, for something astounding has happened. The woman gave all she had. She gave out of her poverty. Can I give out of my poverty? Can I trust my Lord more and more so that I give out of weakness and not strength? Can I let my clenched fist loose and submit to the finished work of my Jesus, letting all go for the sake of the gospel?
To be willing to be uprooted again and again; to be a beggar leading another beggar to bread (Is 58:7). To give out of my poverty (mind, body and spirit), enter into the sufferings of Christ, and lift the burden and suffering from my neighbor; this is the fast I want to choose this lenten season. The Lord replenishes, he lifts me up, he treats me not as I deserve! When the poor widow went to the offering box, Jesus "looked up". He sees me and wraps me in his robe of righteousness. In the "day acceptable to the Lord", he makes my burden light and carried my yoke, and plants me like a "tree by streams of living water (Ps 1:3)".