For centuries and centuries, people have observed Lent with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. That second one, fasting, is where the idea of little kids giving up chocolate eggs came from. But Scripture gives us other, more meaningful ways to fast. God speaks through the prophet Isaiah:
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (Isaiah 58:6-7)
Now that is a fast.
This message is an excerpt from “Meaningful ways to observe Holy Lent,” a Women of the ELCA monthly devotion by Audrey Novak Riley.