Each Friday, we pause to explore how our fasting is going and to consider an action item inspired by the week’s devotions. Check out Week 1: Friday if you need a refresher on the what and why.
In week one, you were encouraged to give up something that gives you joy and to try to locate your joy in Jesus. How has this been going for you this week? What have you learned about yourself and/or about God during this fast? Were you able to “relocate” the joy and fulfillment from this item or activity into contemplating Christ and the nature of his sacrifice for you? If not, what do you think is holding you back? Pray for strength and encouragement to find joy in the sacrifice.
You were encouraged, as long as there isn’t a medical reason against it, to fast from either lunch or dinner on Fridays. Have you been able to use this time in prayer and contemplation of the cross and Christ’s sacrifice for you? How can you focus your physical hunger to consider hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness in your life?
This week, we looked at biblical texts from Psalms, Mark, and 2 Corinthians, as well as the life of Martin King Luther, Jr. alongside Amos 5:24. Through these texts, we come to realize that, regardless of our circumstances, we have a God who understands our pain; he has lived the darkest of sad songs, and he has done it for me; he has done it for you; he has done it for all of humanity. He became sin so we could become the righteousness of God, and now we are called to be the very righteousness of God flowing like a never-ending stream of water and bringing God’s Kingdom and God’s will to the world around us.
Christians have been at the forefront of social action throughout our history. The Church was responsible for the first hospitals and the first universities. There is more clean water and orphan care in the world because of the Church than any other entity in human history. This is our heritage, and, God willing, it is our future!
Pick a social issue that you are passionate about and do something about it this week. It could be human trafficking, abortion, racial inequality, or care for the immigrant and stranger in your land. Fast from an activity that you enjoy this week and fast from your apathy. Write a letter to a member of congress. Serve in a food kitchen. Volunteer at a food shelf, an immigration or refugee center, a crisis pregnancy clinic, or wherever God is calling you to be his righteousness in a broken world.
Heavenly Father, thank you for being a God who entered our pain and suffering and bore our shadow of guilt and shame. Give us strength to bear the pain and shadows of others. Help us to bring your righteousness to a broken world. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.