Read: Isaiah 58:1-12
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection, introspection, and resolute decision making. The name Ash Wednesday came from the practice of Persons’ putting Ashes on their foreheads as a sign of repentance for sins.
Isaiah 58:1-12 points to and exposes us of the exterior piety we profess publicly by Fasting while oppressing the marginalized around us. God does not value our Fasting if we continue to commit acts and participate in systems that harm other people.
Lent calls for repentance and true repentance is the Fast that God wants. And what does the Lord require? But to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. We do this by freeing the oppressed, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked. Lent is preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of Christ and our own resurrection in Christ.
Gracious God, by the mercy of your son Jesus Christ and the leadership of your Holy Spirit, enable us to live lives of sincere worship that lead us to care for the oppressed, to share bread with the hungry, to shelter the homeless, and to loose the bonds of injustice. Amen
Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart