In the desert …

11 Mar

Like many practicing Christians we use the Lenten season as a period to offer a sacrifice.  We do not practice fasting, but each person elects something significant to sacrafice.  Typically watching TV, eating chocolate.  Sometimes, though we are thrown into circumstances that require sacrafice without choice. 

In reading Isaiah 58: 1-9, I had the opportunity to be given a new perspective of fasting/sacrafice.  When we read the Beatitudes in the New Testament we are directed by Jesus to wash our face and comb our hair when we are fasting and not walk around glum and sickly.  The message in Isaiah is similar, but I think is even more direct.  It suggests that we should not use fasting as an excuse for being ugly and fighting.  That we should not be in a rotten mood.  In addition, like the Beattitudes, it tells us not to walk around with “sacraficing” written all over us through our appearance and behavior.  That when we fast we are doing it so that we can draw closer to God … so that we can remove ourselves from the darkness that accompanies “wickedness”.

I think that we, whether we are fasting/sacrificing by choice or by circumstance need to consider how we express ourselves.  When we are fasting by choice, I think it’s not necessarily important to mislead or avoid saying anything about your fast.  In fact, you can glorify God by sharing your choice, but I’m thinking it should be shared much like you would share any other choice or decision you made, matteroffactly and without expectation for special attention.  When we are sacrificing as a result of circumstances, we can also glorify God.  We can spend a great deal of time pitying our situation, hollering at the heavens about our poor luck or we can find ways to rejoice in God’s goodness.  It is so easy to declare on cue at church service, “God is good all the time.  All the time God is good.”, but is it easy to live it.  In Phillipians 4;4 we are told to “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I say, Rejoice.”  Remarkably not only do you serve as a witness for your faith, but you will also find, in both volunatry and involunary instances, your burden will be eased and you will fill the joy that you announce.

We, as Christians, have much to rejoice about and it is when we tap into this perspective that we can endure great trials and tribulation with hope and joy.

And I will continue to work to be faithful in my little Lenten project for so long as you will listen … and honestly, I’ll do it even if you don’t listen 🙂


One Response to “In the desert …”

  1. callidoras March 12, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    I’m listening 🙂 Inspiring words, bringing my own beliefs out into the open. I’m enjoying your Lenten adventure, if only to make me feel so not alone in my own endeavor.

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