Second Day of Lent 2019, Isaiah 58:1-12
Lord, can our faith be as simple as you say?
- To loose the chains of injustice.
- Untie the cords of the yoke.
- Set the oppressed free
- And break every yoke.
- To share your food with the hungry.
- To provide the poor wanderer with shelter.
- When you see them naked, to clothe them.
- Not to turn away our own flesh and blood.
Lord, what about disputing about faith?
What about fasting food?
What about cleaning up our own lives first?
Lord, all the things you have Isaiah write focus on loving others, not ourselves. How do I improve myself? Is it as you said, Jesus?
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:24-26
When we focus not on ourselves but on producing many seeds, we gain eternal life. And yet, as you say, it is not we who are doing the work. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5.
As long as we follow you, as long as we remain in your vine, you produce the increase. You simply allow us to participate in your work. You are doing your work through us, the branches. If we fail to remain in you, we cannot and do not produce fruit.
Lord, helps us to love eternal life, You, our Father, our Holy Spirit so much, always, that we never think of loving this life and keeping it but anticipate eternity with You.
Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit give me, give us opportunities to give myself/ourselves to others and loose the chains of injustice.
Image: The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 1695-97 by Sebastiano Ricci at the Detroit Institute of Arts, September 7, 2018.