God, your love is everlasting and your grace is ever-near,
Yet our worship and our fasting aren’t enough to please you here.
We love songs and prayers and preaching, yet, O Lord, we must confess
That our actions aren’t in keeping with our talk of righteousness.
Even on this day of worship, many hurt and we don’t see.
While we bask in food and friendship, others long for dignity.
Lord, we love to get a bargain, but the waitress where we eat
Can’t afford to feed her children, as her wage won’t make ends meet.
Some are cheated as they labor to produce the things we buy;
We don’t see our hurting neighbor, just what labor can supply.
We don’t see the cost of violence; we don’t challenge and resist.
Lord, forgive us when our silence towers like a wicked fist.
God of mercy, how you love us! May we seek to live your way.
May we welcome in the homeless; may we share our bread this day.
May our worship lead to justice in the land and on the street;
This is fasting at its finest, where our words and actions meet.
Biblical References: Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Tune: BEACH SPRING 184.108.40.206 D (“God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
Text: Copyright © 2016 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.