Read Isaiah 58-60.

One night at dinnertime, our then four-year-old son, Greg, announced that he would not eat his dinner because he wanted to give it to the malnourished boy pictured in a CRWRC calendar. I responded that we could not get his dinner to that boy, but that we could give money to an organization that would pay for a child’s food, clothes, and education. So we did, and still do. The lesson from this story is the same that I take from Isaiah 58. Fasting and “lying on sackcloth and ashes” (v. 5) by Israel was not an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord, but rather, giving food, shelter, clothing, etc., to the needy was acceptable. (vs. 6&7) Similarly, just praying for the hungry is unacceptable to the Lord, unless we provide food to the hungry when we are able. During Advent, we are reminded that the Messiah came to vanquish hunger and all other injustices. When we follow the Messiah “(our) light will break forth like the dawn…and the glory of the Lord will be (our) rear guard.” (v. 8)

– Bob DeVries


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