I have touched Isaiah 58 from time to time in my journal during this Lenten season. Currently, I am finding a couple of things that stand out.
First, I don’t have a “private” faith. If it was about a “private” faith, I would be a genius. Israel tried to be “genius” when they fasted when they were supposed to but it wasn’t fooling God. They thought their pious acts would be noticed and their abuses would be overlooked.
Somehow, American Christianity divorced personal practice from public faith (which hasn’t always been the case) and we prioritize our “personal faith.”
It doesn’t work. God is not fooled.
My “private” faith is not for me alone. It is a public faith. It is to be lived out. THAT is the Kingdom of God.
Second, I wrote this over and over in my journal today: Set captives free.
Lent is not about “private faith” alone or “public faith” alone. It is not over-emphasizing one and neglecting the other. It is to understand they go together. Always.
Thus far, this is my lesson from this Lent.