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Showing posts from February 12, 2016

Great Reflection From The Word Among Us

How God Measures Us
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish. (Isaiah 58:6)

In the film Mary Poppins, there is a scene in which Mary uses a measuring tape on herself. But rather than feet or inches, the tape reads, “Practically perfect in every way.” It’s a cute little scene, but it tells us a lot about her personality.

In today’s first reading, we see God’s measuring tape for fasting. The passage names eight specific things that God wants Israel to do. If the people measure up, their glory will “break forth like the dawn,” and their relationship with God will deepen dramatically (Isaiah 58:8, 9). Israel never did manage to live up to these standards, however. But how did God respond?

Like many of the prophetic writings, this passage can be understood in a number of ways. It is both an exhortation for Israel to change and a guideline to help them encounter God on a deeper level. It can also be read in the context of history, as a revelation of God’s grace. God could have turned away when …