True Fasting Transforms from the Inside Out

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
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 them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”

These words, from the prophet Isaiah, motivate my work with Action Ministries, perhaps more than any other idea found in the Bible. God recognizes that we have a perpetual hunger as humans. It is a hunger that is satiated, only to return a few hours later. So, when God asked His people to fast, it meant a reliance on something greater than oneself. Rather than using the fast to turn hearts to God, over time His followers kept the tradition of fasting outwardly … they skipped meals … meanwhile missing the entire point. These hungry folks, though they had checked the fasting box of religion, continued oppressing the poor, ignoring the need of neighbors and hoarding resources rather than sharing them.

atlanta 5Through Isaiah, God returns His people to the fasting He intended all along. I see this type of fasting through Action Ministries … at our community kitchens in Athens and Atlanta, volunteers look our guests in the eyes as they fill plates, and wait to eat themselves until others have been fed first. At our food pantries in Rome and Covington, and through food boxes in Gainesville, supporters like you guarantee that the gnawing pangs of hunger are replaced with fulfillment, and soon, with educational opportunity.

True fasting is God-given because it transforms us from the inside out. At Action Ministries, we know from experience, “then your light will break forth like the dawn.” We have seen your light break forth, and can’t wait to celebrate you and this work on Thursday, Nov. 5 across north Georgia! Dine Out and Do Good!

I AM bubble 2

Erin Barger

Vice President of Local Programs

Action Ministries

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