True Fasting Week 05
Isaiah 58: 9-10
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, and if you spend yourselves on 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.
There are many marginalised groups in our modern society – that is, groups of people who feel that they are demonised, disrespected, and who don’t feel safe in their day-to-day lives. They are subject to oppressive behaviours and feel at the end of many pointing fingers, and harmful talk.
Jesus showed us how to approach people on the margins, those who feel unsafe, those who are side-lined by society, who feel rejected by religion and sadly, by extension, God. If we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we will be a friend to those who feel friendless, we will eat and drink with those who feel rejected, we will treat those who feel dishonoured with respect and honour, we will identify with those that the pious reject as sinners and, if we can, we will meet needs of those who have little.
Jesus says that he didn’t come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it – to bring wholeness and healing. Jesus came as the light of the world and as a bringer of life. As we approach the time when we remember the sacrifice of Jesus, who laid down his life for his friends (and he calls all of us his friends), let’s also be a church who lays down our lives for our friends (and let us call everyone ‘friend’).
This is the mission of the Eden Network. To bring the light of Jesus to our communities and to be a friend to our neighbours.
Heavenly Father, as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, help us to be a friend to those who feel friendless and to ease the burdens of those who are oppressed and suffer lack of any kind. Remind us daily to bring the light and good news of Jesus to those around us.
By Sarah Hardiker