First of all, I am not Roman Catholic. However, that does not mean I think observing Lent is pointless. I have not always taken the time to observe it but I do occasionally make an attempt. Also, I don’t necessarily fast or follow all of the requirements as understood by my Roman Catholic friends, but I do try to set aside a significant portion of each day to deliberately focus on the season. I am following Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary for my quiet times. HERE is the schedule if you are interested. I want to briefly share something I read this morning.
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
Isaiah 58:6-7 (NLT)
I have to continually remind myself that I once was in bondage to sin. There was no way for me to gain freedom on my own. I was hopelessly enslaved. It is only through the blood of Jesus that I have been set free. I have been shown immeasurable grace. Because of that, I should live a life that shows grace and mercy to those around me. If I practice perfect religion and do not have love and mercy towards those around me, I am fraud. I don’t love others in some vain attempt to impress them or God. I love others because He first loved me.
There is a redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One
Jesus my redeemer name above all names
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah oh, for sinners slain
Thank You oh my Father for giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit ’til the work on Earth is done
lyrics by Melody Green
Grace and peace.
Notice of Sale of Poor Persons, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54203 [retrieved February 10, 2016]. Original source: Craig Stephen, Flickr Creative Commons.