6 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? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
It strikes me that the very fast God calls us to during Lent is the very fast that puts us in the midst of the fire. It is not fasting in the traditional sense, it is fasting from ourselves. It is reaching out to others to serve. And not just those we expect to serve at church, but also those who do not come to church: those who have not showered and don’t feel clean enough to be in church, those who have stolen and don’t feel worthy to be in church, those who are forced into slavery, selling drugs or their bodies to be able to survive in this world today. This is FIRE. It is fire that many of us have not come close to experiencing.
But God asks us to consider the experience of this fire.
God asks us to consider getting out of the safety of our own shell to see, really SEE, what is happening in this world.
For after the fire, the earth is very fertile.
New growth abounds.
Don’t run from the fire. SEEK IT!
And wait for the growth God will reveal to you.