A particular verse of scripture has been haunting me lately. I hear it as an indictment of an aspect of my personal life. First, it was a lectionary text in Epiphany. Then I found it in the unifying passage of a devotional book I read. “Bring the homeless poor into your house,” we read in Isaiah 58:7, part of a passage on genuine fasting.
Epiphany | Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year A)
Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12); Psalm 112:1-9 (10); 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16); Matthew 5:13-20
Most of us do not take criticism well. We get defensive, make excuses, or blame others. Nor do we engage in much self reflection or acknowledgement of our personal failings. A lot of churches have deleted the prayer of confession from their Sunday morning orders of worship because of complaints that “those prayers are too depressing,” or “those things don’t apply to me.”
Sustainable Lenten disciplines anticipate an Easter in which they will continue. But surely Easter hope is for something more.
by Ted A. SmithFebruary 13, 2013