Ethics & Christian living

National Day of Fasting, April 4th: spiritual resources for justice

National Day of FastingFriday 4th April is the National Day of Fasting.  I want to encourage anyone who is reading this to join the fast and stand with those experiencing hunger in the UK today.

In the last few weeks, End Hunger Fast has achieved an incredible amount for a truly grassroots campaign, started by a group of friends who had a vision to challenge the way things are.

Massive respect to the organisers – especially the faith, courage and commitment of Rev. Keith Hebden who is fasting from all food for 40 days.  Let’s join him for just one day.

Be the change we seek

End Hunger Fast has brought together the concerns of those who are making a practical difference through helping in foodbanks, with those who take a political perspective.  It has shown the power of bringing together compassion and justice.  Its no coincidence that the church is at the heart of the campaign because it is spirituality which helps make this connection.  Faith should be personal, practical and political.

As Keith Hebden’s example shows, personal commitment makes all the difference.   His fast is a spiritual act for a political purpose.  Its significant because the powers that be will never be worried much by armchair commentators.  We need to have our hands dirty, to know the people who are hungry.  We must be the change we seek.

Spiritual basis of social change

It is when actions and words come together, that things start to change.  This is why so many of the most effective social movements have a spiritual basis (see this post on the ‘The Secularisation of Martin Luther King‘).

True spirituality reaches into the deepest core of our being – but this is in order to prepare us for a life lived in the real world.  Authentic spirituality gives us resources for compassion and justice.

A counter-cultural presence

I’ll end with this great quote by the former Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks:

“I believe the time has now come for our faith communities to become a counter-cultural presence, a force to challenge the tin gods of fame and power and success which are great for those who win, but hell for those who lose; to protest against a world, a society, that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, as it travels the road of economic affluence and spiritual poverty, of ever stronger governments and markets and ever weaker families and communities. That is a road that can only end in tragedy”

Join the National Day of Fasting and spread the word via Facebook and twitter.

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