Day 3 - March 4
WTS MDiv 2010; WTS Board Member 2021-current; Wesley Council Donor; Lay Leader New Hope United Methodist Church, Fredericksburg, VA
Broken and Blessed
~ Isaiah 58:1-9
Lent is a time of repentance and purification as we prepare to meet the Risen Christ. As children, we often practiced Lent as a period of denial – we would give up candy or soda, maybe give up cartoons for 40 days. As adults, we may abstain from alcohol or pledge to declutter one possession a day in an effort to break our addiction to consumerism. Often, we grow cranky in our fasting and spend as much time thinking about the fancy coffee we gave up as we would have spent buying and drinking it! Isaiah reminds us that this form of fasting does not please God. This form of fasting is more about the appearance of devotion than it is an act of devotion. Rather, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6).
The fast that is pleasing to the Lord is to fast from ourselves – our self-centeredness, our priorities, our neediness. This fast allows us to focus our complete attention on Kingdom building. Pastor Rich Villodas challenges us to acknowledge whether we’re living in the world for God or whether we’re living in God for the world. The way we approach this season of Lent gives important insight into how we answer that question.
Reflection: Reflect on Rich Villodas’ question: Are you living in the world for God or are you living in God for the world? How does your answer to that question shape your Lenten journey?