I do a lot of reading as a priest, some of it is religious, but a lot of it has to do with matters of social or political interest. Today I read this, from LICC (London Institute of Contemporary Christianity www.licc.org.uk).
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
The sacred-secular divide is nothing new. In Isaiah’s time too, God was interested in what his people did every day. Religious ceremony (fasting is in view here) was not enough – ‘only a day for people to humble themselves?’, God asks. True religion, now as then, manifests itself in how we go about our life every day, including at work.
I have alway found this passage from Isaiah very relevant and critical of how we live our lives as Christians, very much along the lines of the reflection added by Andrew M. at the LICC. I find it quite hypocritical when people have a “sunday behaviour” and the rest of the week have a different personality that is fuelled by agressiveness and selfishness.
Are you challenged by this passage from Isaiah? Have you done something about it?