Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice and
to untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free and
to break every yoke?

Is it not

to share your food with the hungry and
to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked,
to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call,
and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help,
and he will say:

“Here am I.”

If you

do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and
satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Isaiah 58

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