After our common celebration with these four needy groups, my recital must conclude with the announcement that I have in fact performed the celebration as commanded. "I have not forgotten or transgressed any of your commandments" (Dt. 26:13).
How completely different is such a creed from ours! The recital begins, then actions of celebration ensue, and the creed ends with the proclamation that the creed has been performed in full; nothing has been forgotten or transgressed.
And that brings me back to our little "givings up" for Lent. How pathetic that all seems in the face of the sharp demands of Deuteronomy 26! Might we this Lent do more than give something up, but rather add to our celebrations of the goodness of God those who know too little of that goodness and too little of the gifts that God has given to us? I am just wondering how Lent might become a genuine goad for true confession followed by true actions for the least of these.