Truth be told, my office didn’t get very messy over the weekend. I have to admit that I was a bit bummed about that because I like being surprised when I when in here on Monday mornings. And I’ve enjoyed telling you about what I find.
But this week there were no surprises. Just the regular stuff, like the reports and mail.
The one exception to that is my copies of the 2014 Lenten Compact devotions. Each year for the past five years Faith Church has joined with our brothers and sisters at Kimball Avenue Church in Chicago for a Compact. What is a compact? Here is a brief description from this year’s edition:
A compact is a covenantal agreement among a group of people. Those who voluntarily enter a compact bind themselves to a set of guidelines and standards for the purpose of accomplishing personal and corporate goals.
Lent is time of fasting, so during Lent we agree together to fast for a purpose, and it is Isaiah 58 where we learn about one of God’s main purposes for calling his people to a fast:
“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 him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
I would encourage you to take a look at the entire compact and consider joining us. This year we are specifically learning about what it means to loose the chains of injustice for the millions who are incarcerated in our nation’s prisons. We are talking about a distinctly Christian response to unjust incarceration, mercy for prisoners, hoping to open our eyes to their plight. But if you do the crime, you should do the time, right? Perhaps there is a lot more to it than what it might seem. For instance, have you heard about Kids for Cash, a scandal that happened right here in Pennsylvania where a corrupt judge unlawfully sent 3000 kids to jail. Interestingly the judge was paid millions for this. Sadly there are many more instances of corruption in our justice system.
Will you join us in learning more? If Jesus said that he came to set the prisoners free, we would do well to give time for serious consideration of the issues.
Also, anyone can participate in the online discussion of the compact’s daily devotions at the Lenten Compact blog site. We’ve been having a wonderful time hearing from one another. May this Lent be a very meaningful time for you of learning about God’s heart for the oppressed and what we can do to help set them free.