Go! for Lent: Isaiah 58:6-9
In my work with The Episcopal Church, I am lucky to see people across the world choosing the kind of fast God proclaims through Isaiah. Our Domestic Poverty and Environmental Justice fellows, our Jubilee Network, and hundreds of ministries from Haiti to Hawaii, Seattle to Charleston, Sonora to Portland and everywhere in between are working together to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. It is a singular joy to talk with Episcopalians in diverse ministries and contexts. Though a community garden project in Naco, Arizona, on its face has little to do with a sewing center in Rochester, New York, or an outreach ministry to young people in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I have realized the wonderful thread that ties them all together.
I performed dozens of interviews last year, and realized that, when asked the reasons for their work, no ministry leader or volunteer listed “boredom” or “money”. No, these Episcopalians have undertaken the work because their commitment to Christ demands it. They refine and use their God-given talents to help build up the Kingdom; they are sharing their bounty, bringing in the homeless, covering the naked, and being fully present in their communities, as we are asked. This work is beautiful because it takes seriously the living God’s claim on our lives—a God whose light breaks forth from them like the dawn.
My dream for myself and for The Episcopal Church this Lent is that we will recognize the fast we ought to choose—that in rural Virginia, cosmopolitan Los Angeles, suburban Denver, and in villages, towns, and cities around the world, we will go out and do the work we’ve been given to do. As we do so, I hope we will remember that our Vindicator has gone before us—and that as we go, his glory and help are all around us.