Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 17

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE of our colleagues who will be on the nonprofit panel can tell you a whole lot of stories about. But food rescue still happens. The Oregon Food Bank is a great institution. They’re gleaning food in the industrial context. Food rescue is still alive and well. There is a group called the Society of Saint Andrew that still does field gleaning as a ministry. That’s phenomenal. Fasting Fasting is the denial of that basic necessity. My friend David and his wife Amber have started a diet that’s to cleanse them, to make them more aware of what they’re putting in their body. Some of you probably for Lent said, “This is what I’m going to give up so that I can focus more on the food.” Well, there’s a slightly different kind of fasting that I want to touch on as well from Isaiah 58:3–7: ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ [Then God’s voice] Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high [expect your prayers to be answered]. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? [for being spiritual] Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen [says God through Isaiah]: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? That’s what God was saying to the religiously observant in his day who were fasting on the Day of Atonement and Yom Kippur for the Jewish culture. And they thought they were doing it right. They were hurting themselves, patting themselves on the back. He says, “You’ve got it wrong. This is what it’s about. If you’re able to eat but your brother and sister are unable to eat, you’ve got it wrong.” 14