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?
Reflection by BA Miskowiec
Lent is the season when we journey with Jesus through his earthly ministry to his death on the cross. As with any journey, we must consider our provisions – what to take and what to leave behind. What is important? These verses from Isaiah reveal what is important to God: justice, compassion, healing, wholeness and taking care of the vulnerable.
The spiritual practice of fasting is a sign of our reverence for God our Creator. How do we show our reverence? Verse seven gives us guidance.
On this journey, we leave behind self-centeredness and hypocrisy. We take with us Jesus’s concern for “the least of these.” These key words (share, bring, see and reveal) point to needed provisions for our journey (bread, shelter, clothes, and kin/companions on the journey). We become partners with God in the ministry of healing and offering life when we take actions that give life and freedom to others. We are told that the fast God requires is to sacrifice our self centeredness and offer life to all. It is when we put the needs of others before our own wants that we truly follow Jesus.
Today, reflect on these questions:
- What is the “fast” God requires of me? How am I called to respond?
- How might a migrant view the concepts of sacrifice and provision?
- What does this verse mean to the church and society as a whole? How are we as a community called to respond?
BA Miskowiec is Executive Director of West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry. A former attorney, Ms. Miskowiec holds a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. A published author, she seeks to combine social activism with spiritual formation.
Listen to an episode of EMM’s Hometown podcast:
EMM released a Hometown podcast episode featuring an interview with Wendy Pearlman, author of We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled, the story of the Syrian uprising, war, and refugee crisis through interviews that Wendy Pearlman conducted from 2012 through 2016 with more than 300 displaced Syrians across the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. We encourage you to listen to the podcast and request our Book Discussion Kit on We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled.