Fasting from Indifference
God on Monday
'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?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard' (Isaiah 58:6-8).
Hear the noise of Isaiah 58:6-8, the sounds of God’s people fighting for rightness in the world: metal clasps cracking, leather strings whipping as knots untie, wooden yokes snapping and falling away: the sound of God’s people being freed from injustice and oppression.
Now hear cries of rejoicing and sighs of relief as those oppressed leave their captors. Then smell fresh bread served to the hungry, feel warm water offered to a homeless poor, and bask in the warmth of light dawning on faces around you.
All of this is a result of a ’fast’. But fasting from what? From indifference to injustice and denial of culpability in oppression. This is a fast in which God is calling the Israelites away from their self-serving, falsely humble fasts to a true fast. A fast in which God’s people would thrive as they practice equality, freedom, dignity, and fairness. God’s people purposefully repairing, feeding, and serving. It is captured in Isaiah’s glorious and vibrant picture of abundant light and rapid healing.
What then does God say to us? Perhaps that we need to ask ourselves if we are aware of the slavery and injustice in which we may be participating. This can happen simply when we purchase ordinary items (like smartphones, coffee, seafood, and clothing), even from reputable brands, or when we invest in those companies. Buried deep in supply chains stemming from where raw materials are mined or harvested are more slaves now than at any time in human history.
We cannot pretend that such oppressive systems do not exist, nor that it’s impossible not to profit from practices involving darkness and oppression. We can choose to invest in companies promoting light, freedom, harmony, and service. While such stark contrasts may seem to oversimplify complex, entrenched issues, they can also reveal the promise and hope of following God’s ways. They are ways that scatter the darkness and lead to what is good and true, to what is light and life.
To learn more about the connection between our individual lifestyles and slave labour, visit slaveryfootprint.org and click on “How many slaves work for you? Find out.”
Lord Jesus, open our eyes to our participation in anything which benefits from oppression. Please use us to bring your light and life as we follow you by loving and seeking out the poor and vulnerable.
Reach out to your advisor to learn more about what types of companies are in your portfolio and if they align with your values.
Check out this book to learn more about faith-based investing
This Week's Author
, in collaboration with Becky Cook
Rachel McDonough, is an advisor with Wealth Squared
, a team of EverSource Wealth Advisors. She is also the founder of Wealthfluence, focused on faith-driven investing. She is an author and worship leader, and a speaker on putting faith into practice through investing.
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
Feel free to share these reflections with your contacts via email and social media.