Lenten dialectic of a democratic socialist Christian

The struggle of wounded people from varying cultures to unite in solidarity for justice is difficult. On our common ground of justice we must not, however, forego the opportunity to, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Shout out, do not hold back!” (Isaiah 58).

I must first begin with a word of e-repentance, if not a full blogging-flogging. I have sometimes chosen harsh and self-centered words in my stories and comments. When writing I’m going to try to be more kind and less self-centered.

Yet I’m told on this Ash Wednesday that even in our failures and weaknesses, it is not “the fast … to humble oneself… to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes” that the Lord seeks. Rather,

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 …?

Our focus on our failures must not be allowed to excuse omission of acts truly worthy of repentance:

If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

Another season of Lent has dawned for persons in the Christian tradition and with it the obligation not only to get down on our knees but also to then get off our knees and loose the bonds of injustice, which those who have tied do not want loosed. Which side will we choose to be on?

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