Each year during Lent, Kimball Avenue Church in Chicago and friends around the country embark on a 40-day “Lenten Compact” to help us better understand the heart of God in relationship to injustice and oppression. A “Compact” is a covenantal agreement among a group of people. Those who voluntarily enter a compact bind themselves to a set of guidelines and standards for the purpose of accomplishing personal and corporate goals.
Lent is often considered a personal time to fast, focus ourselves on God, and reflect on the idols that we have been told we cannot live without. Like each Lenten season, we are calling for a communal fast that focuses us not only on our relationship to God, but also on our relationship to our neighbors—especially our brothers and sisters who are suffering from oppression and injustice. We are calling our church to a true fast – one that is not just the act of denying oneself of something – but a fast that creates justice and reconciliation.
In Isaiah 58, specifically verses 6-7, the Lord makes clear what a true fast should accomplish:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and 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?”
To learn more about this year’s Compact, “Fast For Freedom: Breaking the Chains of Injustice”, link to the 2014 Compact page. The daily pages provide a Scripture, questions for reflection and resources on the topic of our broken correctional system that incarcerates Americans at unprecedented rates and prohibits those coming out of the system from full restoration into the community. We encourage you to post your comments on the daily pages and interact with others that are fasting for freedom.
For more information about Kimball Avenue Church, visit our web site.