‘The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. Then my favour will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side.’ (verses 6-8)
Read Isaiah 58:1-14
Just what does God expect? I attend worship and Bible study. I try to follow his word and avoid immoral behaviour. I try to be a good steward of all that he has given me in terms of my time, talents and possessions. Yet here in this passage he talks about justice and care for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the naked and my relatives.
I get uncomfortable whenever God’s word cuts into my life with a precision greater than any surgeon’s scalpel. He knows how easy it is for me to get caught up in my life, my faith and my obedience and not see the needs of others around me. That’s why, in addition to loving God, I am called to love my neighbour as myself.
Let’s look around as we interact with our family, our neighbours, our workmates. Pay attention, as we do our shopping, to the assistants who wait on us, the people standing in the queue with us, and the other drivers on the road. They are all people who need to know the love of God. We are the one who can bring that love through the offering of small kindnesses.
Thank you, God, for opportunities to bring your love to others. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to respond to the needs of others. Amen.
Devotion by Tom Peitsch from “Assurance for each day” (LCA. Openbook Publishers, 2004)
Visit the Daily Devotion archives page.