Restore the Streets and Repair the Breach
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Isaiah 58 1 - 12
And so our journey with Jesus in the desert begins. What will we take on, give up, be intentional about, value more in order to be reminded for 40 days and 40 nights of the greatest Love of all, the greatest Sacrifice of all. For me there are too many things to count, too many temptations that distract from and waylay all my good intentions. But when I read the Isaiah passage appointed for today, I heard a call to a Lenten discipline different from those in the past.
Whatever our circumstances, these words of Isaiah should be front and center, and I encourage us all to reflect on them, perhaps even taking on one a week for the six weeks of Lent. With hope and prayer by the end of this journey, the words of Isaiah at the end of this reading will come true:
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.