‘Fasting from injustice requires change of mindset’

February 18, 2021

As Lent begins and the anniversary of lockdown looms, Bishop Anne Dyer has reflected on what this means for a society that has re-considered the value of community over the past year.

In her regular column in the Press & Journal newspaper, the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney writes:

“In churches, a Lent fast is not just about personal downsizing. We are encouraged to look at our behaviours and values. In our prayers and readings we are encouraged to fast from injustice. We are encouraged to fast from, that is give up, those things which lead to the oppression of other people. This kind of fasting is much more difficult.

“It is one thing to give up eating cake, but quite another to work out what I must change in order to benefit others in my street or town who might not be doing too well.

“Fasting from injustice requires a change of mindset. It requires us to realise how connected to each other we are. This is something that we have been learning in new ways during the pandemic. We now appreciate that what seems like a small activity for me like entering someone else’s home or not keeping proper social distance, can have a great effect on another person.

“We are learning afresh what it means to live in community, that for one person to stay well, everyone has to stay well. If something good is to come out of all of this then maybe this is what we should learn: There is not justice for one unless there is justice for all.”

The full column can be read here.