Wednesday, October 22, 2008

True Fasting

As you might have deduced from a few of the pictures in the Serving Jesus, Rockwood Style post, we are working hard to make Barberry Apartments a launching pad for serving the larger community of Rockwood. There is 7-Eleven on the corner that could use some loving just about weekly, as well as a few other sourrouding buisnesses that we can be a blessing to. If you are at all curious about the deeper impact that simple garbage pick can have, check out the wikipedia entry on "Fixing Broken Windows". Essentially:
"Consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars."
There is also a bi-weekly mini Nightstrike-esque site that sets up on Saturday nights on the corner of 188th and Burnside which we are hoping to be a support to. More to come on this.

On another note, Elena reminded me of a portion of Scripture that has really shaped me over the last 9 months. It seems very appropriate to share it here. Isaiah outlines what "authentic Christian living" looks like. It also consequently has some of the most beautiful imagery on the relationship God yearns to have with each of us.

Isaiah 58

1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.

3 'Why have we fasted,' they say,
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "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?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.


Milan said...

how cool...I haven't checked the blog in a week or so. Then I see the Isaiah 58 appropriate given that was the text that I really wanted to burn in people's minds at the end of the sermon. My father in law pointed out this section to me a couple months ago...he said this really captures his attention when he thinks about what compassion connect is about.
I love and appreciate you guys...can't wait to see God's plan

DK said...

Ya man, I was wondering if you had swiped this from me as I had just posted it a couple days before your sermon. :P