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December 13

Isaiah 58, 3b-5

Something to read

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,
   and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
   and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
   will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
   a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
   a day acceptable to the Lord?
New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here

Something to think about

It is all well and good to be a religious person, but if, whilst you pray/worship/take a holy-day, your day to-to-day actions are harming others, your prayer/worship/holy-day is worthless.  It is all well and good to pray for the poor, but if you go out and buy the cheapest clothes and food without sparing a thought for the working conditions and wages of those who produced the goods, then you, too, may be serving your own interest on your fast-day.

Something to do

Use your LOAF!  When possible buy goods that are Locally produced, Organic, Fairly traded and/or Animal friendly.  Yet even as fairly traded goods become more available in the shops, for some of us they can seem very expensive, especially in today‚Äôs economic climate.  If your own circumstances mean that you cannot afford to always use your LOAF, offer a prayer for those who produced the goods and all those in the supply chain, that justice is served.

Something to pray

For pickers and packers,
for ship hands and shop assistants,
for growers and grocers,
for farmers and fair traders,
for all who bring our food from farm to fork,
for all who bring our goods from raw materials to retailer,
we give you thanks.

Today's contributor is Mel Smith, a student training for ministry with the United Reformed Church at Westminster College, Cambridge.

 

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