With nearly two billion Muslims celebrating Ramadan this month, our panel of pastors discuss the spiritual practice of fasting and how it can help connect us to both the Divine and the suffering of our neighbors.
Isaiah 58 describes fasting like this:
“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 them,
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."
Dominique DuBois Gilliard is the Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Evangelical Covenant Church. He is the author of Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores, which won a 2018 Book of the Year Award for InterVarsity Press and was named Outreach Magazine’s 2019 Social Issues Resource of the Year. Gilliard also serves as an adjunct professor at North Park Theological Seminary and serves on the board of directors for the Christian Community Development Association. In 2015, the Huffington Post named him one of the “Black Christian Leaders Changing the World.” Gilliard’s forthcoming book, Subversive Witness: Scripture’s Call to Leverage Privilege will be released on August 24, 2021.
Rev. Dr. Laura Truax is senior pastor of LaSalle Street Church in Chicago and serves on the Seminary Advisory Board at the University of Dubuque. Dr. Truax holds a master of divinity degree from Loyola University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the joint program of North Park Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary. She is the author of Undone: When coming apart puts you back together (2013) and Love Let Go: Radical Generosity for the real world (2017) and is part of the Red Letter Christians.
Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding is pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, associate professor of Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) and former U.S. Senate candidate for the state of Colorado. She holds a B.A. in English from Clark Atlanta University, as well as a M.A. in American Literature and a Ph. D. in American Studies both from Purdue University. She is the author of Recovering from Racism: A Guidebook to Beginning Conversations (2015) and Abolishing White Masculinity from Mark Twain to Hiphop: Crisis in Whiteness (2014).
Doug Pagitt is the Executive Director and one of the founders of Vote Common Good. He is also a pastor, author, and social activist. @pagitt