Leap Day (29th February 2020)

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We know that limiting food intake and fasting is good for you. We know that spiritual discipline, planning, and working towards goals is generally the way to success. If we are wise, we know when there are times of illness and storm, and how to prepare

If we are a community, there should be a cycle of rest and work, of celebration and cleansing. On the feast days all should eat well, and on the days of fasting all should limit their desires.

There will never be equality, so there should be charity.

The risk is that our ritual of fasting or national mourning can be for ourselves, and not for those who do grieve, or not a chance to repair injustice.

A service will be held in Christchurch on March 15, the anniversary of the attack that left 51 people dead and many more injured at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques.

The Christchurch City Council said it had been in touch with those affected since October as part of organising the event.

However, Otago Muslim Association president Mohammed Rizwan said many of the victims and their families were not consulted about the service, and were unhappy it was going ahead.

Other Muslim associations have also distanced themselves from commemorative services.

Part of the issue was that in Islamic culture, marking anniversaries was not typically done, Mr Rizwan said.

“We remember every day what has happened, and pray for those who have lost their lives every day.

“We do not need a fixed day to actually remember them.”

I find it intriguing that the very authorities that will jail you if you abuse Muslims won’t listen to their wishes and practices when setting up services. Their secular version of religion over rides all scruples.

And often leads to oppression and injustice. God does have something to say about the civil use of religion for virtue. He despises it.

Isaiah 58:1-12

58 “Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgement of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.

Do not signal virtue. Instead do something for those around you. And this elite, descending on NZ like ringwraiths? Do not be them, and do not be like them